International Community Alliance History The International Institute and the International Institute movement was founded in 1919 by a group of civic minded women who were in the process of establishing a YWCA in Gary. The International Institute was a department of the YWCA with offices in the Bailey Library basement. The purpose of the International Institute was to help immigrant women to adjust to American life and to culture friendships between Americans and the foreign born. The organization provided social services with an emphasis on immigration and citizenship issues. In 1934 the International Institute became an independent agency and in 1937 was incorporated and went with eleven other agencies to form the Community Chest in Gary. It established the first citizenship and adult English classes in 1932. In late 2001, discussions began between International Institute and the Latin American Community Alliance for Support and Assistance (LACASA) to merge the two organizations based on their similar program objectives and commonality of services offered. In 2006, a new identity was established and officially named the International Community Alliance (ICA) offering services to Latino and immigrant families of Lake County and the surrounding communities of Northwest Indiana.