International Rescue Committee (IRC)

IRC Programs in Tucson


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.

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Economic Empowerment

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.


Job Readiness Training: Job readiness classes are offered weekly to prepare refugees for the American workplace.  The classes provide vocational English language training and simulate different work environments in the hospitality and retail industries. Classes also cover topics such as interview preparation, employee benefits, career development and more.


Financial Education: The Financial Education program helps families learn how to manage money and become responsible consumers. Financial education learning tools and skill building exercises are integrated throughout all IRC programs. This integrative approach leads to economic independence and encourages refugees to apply practical skills such as counting American money, budgeting, paying bills, using coupons, building savings, preparing taxes and more.


Individual Development Accounts: In partnership with the IRC in Phoenix, the Individual Development Accounts program is designed to help refugees save toward their American dream. Program participants open a savings account that can be used to purchase a home, start a small businesses, or help pay for post-secondary education. Accounts are held at local financial institutions and contributions are matched through private and public sources.  Concurrently, participants attend financial literacy trainings that focus on practical financial management concepts including how to build good credit.


Micro-Enterprise Development Program: In partnership with the IRC in Phoenix, the Micro-Enterprise Development Program works with refugee entrepreneurs to refine their business plans, assist with zoning and other legal issues, and provide micro-loans to start-up refugee businesses.

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Community Integration and Development

Strengthening communities and preparing individuals to participate fully in American society.

Health and Wellness

Promoting wellness and ensuring access to healthcare services that address physical and psychological needs.

Center for Well-Being: IRC serves all refugees in Pima County and provides essential support services that help refugees overcome obstacles to become thriving Americans. The Center’s holistic approach emphasizes prevention, education and lifestyle management, and empowers refugees to make long-term and lasting changes that support healing and optimum health. Services include: 

  • Behavioral Health: IRC provides intensive case management, counseling and group therapy to refugee families and individuals to address the physical and mental challenges associated with past trauma and resettlement in a new country. 
  • Support for Survivors of Torture: IRC provides intensive case management and mental health services to survivors of torture. Survivors gain access to both western and non-western treatment of their physical and psychological injuries. Referrals to medical and legal services are also provided. 
  • Refugee Well-Being Program: IRC provides education, referral and advocacy services to refugee women. The program uses the principals of the community health worker/promotora model in which successfully resettled refugee women work with newly arrived women from their own culture to provide education about available community resources, connection to needed assistance and support during the initial adjustment phase. The program also builds leadership skills and empowers refugee women to become their own advocates.

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Promoting durable solutions and ensuring life-saving protection of vulnerable populations.

Immigration Services: 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 other 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.


Volunteer Program: With over five times the number volunteers to IRC staff in the United States, volunteers amplify IRC’s ability to address the needs of refugees while ensuring they feel welcomed into their new communities.  Volunteers support IRC’s programs by providing assistance with one-on-one English tutoring, mentoring newly arrived families, setting up apartments, helping refugees find employment, and more.

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