The U.S. has a long tradition of offering refuge to those fleeing persecution and war. These vulnerable populations have suffered unimaginable hardship and face tremendous obstacles as they start their new lives. The IRC staff and volunteers provide support to refugees from their first moments in the country to help set them on a path to self-sufficiency.
Resettlement sits at the center of the IRC in Sacramento’s programming. Through a network of staff members and volunteers, the IRC helps refugees learn about life and customs in the U.S., secure jobs, learn English and eventually become citizens. We provide most of the basic necessities to restart their lives and help them overcome cultural barriers in order for their adjustment to be as easy as possible. We also offer focused programming, beyond initial resettlement, such as career guidance and ESL classes. We refer refugees to any external aid they might need.
The IRC is one of nine resettlement agencies partnered with the United States government to resettle refugees and other immigrant populations. The IRC greets new arrivals at the airport to ensure their transition is smooth and welcoming. Caseworkers find a suitable, affordable home for families and ensure that they receive essentials including: a housing deposit, first month’s rent, housewares, toiletries and groceries.
For the first 90 days, resettlement agencies work with state and local governments and community organizations to help new arrivals settle into their communities. IRC caseworkers and volunteers introduce refugees to the health care system and assist them to enroll in English classes. Adults are placed in employment programs to help them find their first job in the United States and children are enrolled in school. Cultural orientation and workshops teach refugees how to navigate various aspects of their new lives: the grocery store, public transportation and their own neighborhoods.
In fiscal year 2017 the IRC in Sacramento resettled 1,903 refugees from 9 countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Syria, Burma, Belarus and other conflict zones.
Our most notable successes are:
- 1687 individuals resettled in Sacramento were Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) holders. SIV status is granted to certain individuals and their families for assisting and supporting U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.
- Over 100 interns and volunteers supported the IRC this year, serving as English tutors, program support and teachers.
- 523 school age children have been enrolled in K-12 schools throughout Sacramento.
Airbnb has partnered with the IRC and other non-profits to help community members open their doors to refugees. With Open Homes, you can offer your extra space (like a spare bedroom or empty in-law unit) to refugees in need of temporary housing at no cost. To learn more visit airbnb.com/welcome.
Finding apartments can be difficult for refugees. If you are a landlord or property manager who would be willing to work with the IRC to house refugees, contact Kalen Kasraie at Kalen.Kasraie [at] rescue.org.
Check out our Volunteer Opportunities page to learn about our different positions and how to apply. You can also email VolunteerSacramento [at] rescue.org.
The growth and success of our programs depend on the generosity of donors and there are many ways to financially support the IRC, from corporate matching to monthly donations. Visit our donations page to learn more about how you can help.
Furniture, gift cards to buy new clothing and home set-up kits are welcome donations that will ensure refugee families have as much disposable income as possible to begin their new lives. Look through our wish lists or contact DonateSacramento [at] rescue.org to learn more.
Lisa.Welze [at] Rescue.org (Lisa.Welze)Lauren.Kocher [at] Rescue.org (@rescue.org)
International Rescue Committee
2020 Hurley Way, Suite 420
Sacramento, CA 95825
Phone: +1 (916) 482-0120