With a new travel ban circulating news headlines, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) is reminded of the significant decrease in the number of refugees able to be resettled in Salt Lake City. In the past year, our arrivals have been nearly cut in half due to executive actions. However, even though our refugee resettlement has slowed, our work is far from over. Especially as winter approaches, the IRC remains dedicated to providing important services to refugees as they build a new life here in Salt Lake City and make the transition from harm to home.
On Thursday, October 19th, our health team partnered with Community Nursing Services (CNS) to host an immunization clinic. Access to immunizations is critical for new Americans, as up-to-date immunizations are required for green card applications and allow refugee children to attend and stay in school. With the help of CNS, who provided nurses to administer vaccines and clerks to fill out paperwork and assist with billing—in addition to eight volunteers—we provided free immunizations to 35 recently arrived refugees.
In addition to immunizations, the IRC in Salt Lake City hosted a Home Energy Assistance Target (HEAT) Program outreach day on Friday, October 20th. The HEAT program is federally-funded, providing home heating assistance for low-income households throughout Utah during winter months when utility bills increase due to falling temperatures. Volunteers from Salt Lake City’s Community Action Program assisted nearly 150 households in filling out HEAT applications, increasing each family’s budget as they work towards self-sufficiency.
Even with new restrictions on refugee resettlement, the IRC in Salt Lake City continues to support and welcome refugee families and individuals. We are committed to making a difference in the lives of refugees and immigrants, and we remain dedicated to providing support throughout the resettlement process and beyond.
Learn how you can make refugees welcome by visiting Rescue.org/SupportSLC.