IRC Programs in Atlanta
- Economic Empowerment
- Community Integration and Development
- Health and Wellness
- Children, Youth and Education
Meeting the basic needs for food, shelter and legal rights in the early, critical stages of resettlement.
Reception & Placement: Through a partnership with the Department of State, the IRC assists over 10,000 refugees to resettle in the U.S. every year. IRC staff and volunteers meet refugees at the airport and provide initial housing, furnishings, food, and clothing. Additional services include employment assistance, health and social service referrals, vocational training, English-language classes, and orientation to their new community. The IRC helps refugees to move towards self-sufficiency and integration in 22 U.S. cities. The IRC in Atlanta assists some 1,000 refugees to resettle in Georgia every year.
Extended Case Management: The IRC provides counseling in areas such as home budgeting, social adjustment, referrals, and crisis intervention to support the long term integration of refugees into the Atlanta community.
Resettlement Shop: The Resettlement Shop provides recently arrived refugees with essential items including clothing, kitchen ware, small appliances, school supplies, and toiletries. The shop is staffed by volunteers and supplied through the in-kind donations of individuals, groups, and businesses in the community.
Protecting, supporting and improving household livelihoods and financial security.
Early Employment Services: The IRC provides vocational counseling, resume preparation, job search and placement services, and financial assistance for basic needs with the goal of helping refugees find their first job in America and achieve early economic self-sufficiency.
Women’s Instruction for Lifetime Empowerment (WILE): This job readiness and placement program provides unemployed female refugee heads of household with instruction in vocational English, financial literacy, computer literacy, and life skills training. A specially tailored curriculum helps these women overcome their unique and multiple barriers to entering the US job market.
Refugee Child Care Microenterprise Program: Drawing from experience with the WILE program, this program focuses on helping entrepreneurial refugees start their own at-home child care businesses. In partnership with Quality Care for Children, IRC provides tailored business training, child care certification instruction, on-going technical assistance, and small business credit to help participants with all phases of launching their own business. In the end, participants become state-approved child care providers, increase their family’s self-reliance through business ownership, and increase the amount of culturally appropriate and geographically close providers for refugee families to leave their children with, enabling more refugees to enter the workforce. Learn more.
Computer Literacy: The IRC provides computer literacy instruction to refugees on topics such as creating documents, searching the web, sending and receiving emails, and navigating computer operating systems. Further, the IRC provides open-access to its onsite computer lab where refugees can write resumes, conduct job searches, and practice activities learned in class.
Community Integration and Development
Strengthening communities and preparing individuals to participate fully in American society.
Immigration Services: The IRC in Atlanta is an accredited agency with the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). The IRC in Atlanta’s Immigration Department provides low cost, high quality immigration case management services to refugees, asylees, and immigrants. The Immigration Department has three BIA accredited staff members who are authorized to complete immigration applications and represent clients in front of US government officials. In helping refugees to attain citizenship, the IRC strengthens communities and encourages civic integration and participation. Learn more.
New Roots: An essential part of our broader resettlement efforts, the New Roots program enables refugees to reestablish their ties to the land, celebrate their heritage and nourish themselves and their neighbors by planting strong roots—literally—in their new communities. Partnering with the North Dekalb Mall Community Garden, the New Roots program helps refugees access land and the training tools to convert their skills to prosperous food. The program also improves access to healthy foods in the areas where refugees live and provides nutrition classes and guidance to newly arrived refugees.
Family Mentor Program: Family Mentors are volunteers that meet with assigned refugee families to practice English, assist with unfamiliar tasks and activities, and provide a helping hand to welcome them into the community. The IRC in Atlanta matches over 100 refugee families with family mentors from the Atlanta community each year.
Volunteers: Over 500 volunteers per year assist in IRC's work in Atlanta. Volunteers participate in every program and assist IRC to provide personalized, efficient services to refugee clients. From formal internships to one-time service projects, the IRC in Atlanta has opportunities that fit nearly every age and schedule.
Health and Wellness
Promoting wellness and ensuring access to healthcare services that address physical and psychological needs.
Healthcare Access: The IRC in Atlanta provides specialized medical case management, medical interpretation and health care education to refugees, improving their ability to independently access quality healthcare services. The IRC connects newly arrived refugees with the healthcare system by matching each person with suitable, quality physicians, specialists and other providers. The IRC teaches refugees how to address their healthcare needs independently through training workshops and one-on-one lessons. Further, the IRC conducts outreach to educate the healthcare community about refugees, their medical needs, and their rights.
Healthy Families Program: This program offers culturally sensitive trainings to foster healthy communication in refugee families. Trained facilitators teach refugees active listening, conflict resolution, and other communication techniques to help build family resilience.
Promoting durable solutions and ensuring life-saving protection of vulnerable populations.
Family Reunification: The IRC assists refugees in the US to file applications for their immediate family members, often separated through war and exile, to be resettled in the United States. Each year dozens of families are reunited in Atlanta with the help of this service.
Children, Youth and Education
Providing educational and developmental opportunities that build the essential academic, personal and social skills needed to succeed.
Youth Futures: The Youth Futures Program provides refugee teenagers with year-round academic, vocational and social support to help them succeed in high school and make informed decisions about their post-secondary education. Each weekday, teens receive after school tutoring, computer literacy classes, and English language instruction. The IRC’s summer program matches youths with internships throughout the metro Atlanta area and offers field trips, college visits, and career exploration classes.
English as a Second Language: Each weekday, the IRC in Atlanta provides on-site English language instruction to help refugees gain the basic vocabulary and communication skills needed to function in their new communities. Each year, these classes help over 300 refugee adults acquire practical English language skills.
First Things First: This family literacy program teaches refugee mothers and their preschool age children elementary reading, writing and English while preparing mothers to become educators to their children.
GED Prep Class: The IRC offers free evening classes to advance refugees’ reading, writing, and math skills in preparation for the GED exams. Students who pass their GED exams are eligible to go on to college, vocational, or technical schools and are more likely to obtain employment.