IRC Programs in Silver Spring
Meeting the basic needs for food, shelter and legal rights in the early, critical stages of resettlement.
Reception and 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.
At-Risk Extended Services: The IRC provides additional assistance to clients who have not yet reached self-sufficiency within their initial eight months of assistance or are experiencing immediate crisis. Through direct services, financial assistance, community resource referrals, and more, the IRC helps refugees with unique challenges transition to life in America.
Asylee Program: This program provides assistance to asylees through the development of individual self-sufficiency plans and by matching their needs and preferences to financial, medical, social and vocational resources.
Protecting, supporting and improving household livelihoods and financial security.
Employment Program: The Employment Program manages the provision of services to assist refugee and asylee clients in attaining self sufficiency through employment. The Employment Program provides services that include employment preparation, placement, career enhancement services and follow-up.
Community Interpreter Training: The Community Interpreter Program supports refugees with advanced English skills to become certified language interpreters. The program provides refugees the opportunity to make additional income, address an essential need within the community, and build marketable skills.
Community Integration and Development
Strengthening communities and preparing individuals to participate fully in American society.
Bhutanese Community Program: The Bhutanese Community Program works to empower Bhutanese refugees resettled in Maryland, with a particular focus on Bhutanese women, through English language and life skills training, employment support, and by providing capacity building to Bhutanese community based organizations.
Immigration Services: The IRC offers high-quality, low-cost immigration legal services, assisting refugees and other vulnerable populations. Services include representation in connection with filing of applications and petitions for adjustment of status, family reunification, naturalization and otehr immigration benefits. In many locations, the IRC also offers classes in English language and civics to prepare individuals for naturalization. In helping refugees to attain citizenship, the IRC strengthens communities and encourages civic integration and participation.
Cultural Orientation: The IRC provides thorough orientation to newly arrived refugee and asylee clients through its unique Cultural Orientation Program. Initial training is provided to clients within the first 30-60 days in America. The 12-16 hour course provides orientation for 5 to 15 clients at a time to topics including: transportation, public assistance, US laws, housing, health, employment and cultural adjustment . This group format allows participants to learn from and make connections with each other. Additional training is available to clients throughout their resettlement period on specific topics ranging from financial literacy and US schools to higher education and parenting. In addition to acquiring important knowledge and skills through these highly interactive and participant-focused sessions, newly arrived refugees and asylees have opportunities in class to express feelings and voice concerns about the often difficult transition to life in America.
Health and Wellness
Promoting wellness and ensuring access to healthcare services that address physical and psychological needs.
Public Health Program: The IRC works to improve public health education and access to healthcare for refugees by offering health orientations and workshops in collaboration with partner agencies, coordinating health intakes and insurance consultations, and doing outreach to community health partners to build strong provider networks and develop culturally sensitive resources.