Over the past couple years, the world has been captivated by the refugee crisis emerging from the war in Syria. Images of those fleeing the conflict in Syria and dire situations elsewhere have galvanized Americans to try and help in any way possible. Americans have the opportunity to help refugees in their own backyards. Every year, the International Rescue Committee and other nonprofit organizations contract with the US government to help up to 110,000 refugees a year resettle, find jobs and housing, and integrate into American life. In Baltimore, we aid about 1,100 new refugees and humanitarian migrants per year.
The IRC in Baltimore relies on community support to assist refugees who are fleeing from war and persecution in their home countries. To learn more about what our programs in Baltimore provide refugees, please visit: http://www.rescue.org/us-program/us-baltimore-md/programs
Many community members have inquired about housing newly-arrived refugees in their homes. While we are deeply grateful for the heartfelt, generous offer, the IRC arranges for refugee families to rent their own apartments or houses. We feel this is a more sustainable solution that respects the inherent dignity of the people we serve.
Here is how you can help if you live in the Baltimore:
Give a tax-deductible financial contribution to the IRC in Baltimore. Although we do receive support from the state and federal governments to assist new refugees, many services we provide -- such as helping refugees apply to bring close family members here -- have no government support. Moreover, government support for resettlement in general has gone down significantly in the past couple years. Your gift will go far to help refugees integrate and become self-sufficient in our area.
Become a Family Mentor. Family Mentors work with newly-arrived refugee families, providing refugees a meaningful connection to the community and individualized support as they adapt to life in the United States. A focus is placed on practicing English language skills, preparing them for their first job in the U.S., exploring and familiarizing themselves with the city, and becoming self-sufficient in their new home. A commitment of three hours per week for six months is required.
Employ a refugee- The IRC’s Employment Program in Baltimore is dedicated to ensuring that refugees get a fair chance at the American dream, and in turn make their contribution to our nation. Our programs serve over 500 employable adults each year. Our team works with a wide spectrum of skillsets including those who are pre-literate with Limited English abilities to those with fluent English and professional backgrounds. We work on an individualized basis with our job seekers to pre-screen and assess them to ensure they meet the qualifications of our employer partners. We provide job readiness training to newly arrived job seekers to ensure they are familiar with the culture of the American workforce. We also assist with administrative tasks, on-the-job counseling, troubleshooting, and interpretation needs to ensure our job seekers retain positions. Additionally, programming also connects some job seekers with certifications such as Fork Lift Operation, Medical Front Desk, Apartment Maintenance or other trainings based on market demand. All of our job seekers have been full vetted by the federal government upon arrival to the United States and are legally authorized to work. For more information please email HireBmore.Refugees [at] rescue.org