During these unprecedented times, Florida communities, stretching from Tallahassee to Miami, continue supporting refugees, survivors of human trafficking and immigrant youth. It takes all of us—volunteers, clients, donors, employees and community partners—to maintain our 60-year legacy of welcoming and uplifting the voices of our resilient clients.
The refugee families, survivors of human trafficking and young immigrants we serve at the IRC felt the impact of the pandemic early on in March, as cases of COVID-19 began to be reported across Florida. The majority of our clients had their work hours reduced or lost their jobs entirely, placing many families and individuals in precarious situations. Our work to secure housing and other essential items for vulnerable populations became an urgent priority not only for us, but for many communities across the state, who have continued to rally in support of the IRC and our resilient clients.
Over the last five months, communities have come together to provide life-changing support that contributes to the self-sufficiency and wellbeing of our clients. Floridians from all backgrounds recognize the vital role our clients play in their communities. In Tallahassee, refugees contribute to the economic vitality of the city as essential workers who give back to their community through their service. In Miami, faith communities collected thousands of meals benefiting survivors of human trafficking who are working towards healing and providing for their families. The inspiring stories of our clients’ resiliency and determination have in turn inspired hundreds of Floridians to donate and volunteer.
Volunteers across Florida have contributed over 700 hours of service to the IRC. Tristen Jahn, the IRC in Tallahassee’s AmeriCorps Service Member, manages volunteers in our Tallahassee Youth program. She shares her experience with Development Manager, JC Torres in this latest video:
Miami Food Drive
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints donated over 3,000 lbs. of non-perishable food and other personal items through its Bishops’ Storehouse benefiting survivors of human trafficking. Click here to learn more about their donation.
The IRC in Florida’s Crisis Prevention Fund
The IRC in Florida’s Crisis Prevention Fund has provided over $40,000 of emergency assistance to more than 30 refugees, survivors and immigrant youth since March. These funds have primarily been used to cover rent and housing costs. The IRC recognizes the importance of accessing stable housing to the long-term self-sufficiency of its clients.
Our Crisis Prevention Fund is supported by individual contributions and foundations from across the state. Over 100 individual donors have contributed so far. Click here to learn more about our Crisis Prevention Fund and ways to contribute.
The willingness of the community to sustain our local response to the global COVID-19 pandemic continues to uplift the voices of clients and sends a strong message that Floridians are committed to ensuring our state continues to be welcoming to all.
To learn more about the work of the IRC in Florida and for information on how you can get involved with the IRC as a donor or volunteer, please contact Development Manager, JC Torres, at Juan.Torres [at] Rescue.org or 786-325-6257.
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