Please visit this page for regular updates on the IRC in San Diego's response to COVID-19.

The IRC in San Diego continues to operate remotely, serving clients virtually while the physical office is closed. Jump to:

  1. How to purchase face masks from IRC client businesses
  2. How to support IRC client restaurants & food businesses
  3. Latest Program Updates


 September 2020 Update:

From mid-March through the end of September, here is a look at how the IRC in San Diego is supporting vulnerable communities affected by COVID-19:


For more updates, please follow us on Facebook & Twitter

August 2020 Update:

An update from the IRC in San Diego's Resettlement Program on welcoming refugee families during the COVID-19 crisis by Resettlement Supervisor, Ross Fackrell: 

"At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic back in mid-March, refugee arrivals in the United States were halted and after nearly a month and a half of no new arrivals, refugee travel resumed in earnest in May. IRC San Diego’s offices remained closed with all staff still working from home. The Resettlement team cultivated new solutions to deliver documents, financial assistance and donations using contactless methods. Donors were engaged to provide new refugee arrivals with items like books, toys, bicycles, face masks and laptop computers, to name a few. Resettlement staff secured financial support, in the form of relief grants and other emergency funds, for many families to alleviate the financial strain of job loss or the inability to become employed during the pandemic. Home and office visits were replaced with telephonic and virtual ones, helping families feel connected to their case workers and stave off isolation. Everything from to airport pickups to apartment setups to intake appointments to Cultural Orientation was modified so that IRC staff could continue to provide timely, quality services while continuing to work remotely and, for the most part, not seeing clients face-to-face. Arrival numbers have bounced back in August with the lifting of travel restrictions both in the U.S. and abroad. Some families whose travel was cancelled back in March are being booked new tickets; other families who have been separated for much longer are also being reunited this month. IRC is pushing forward with innovations developed during COVID-19 to welcome these new arrivals, working to assure that their resettlement experience is as positive as possible, despite the challenges that lie ahead."

Since March, the IRC in San Diego has provided services and relief to support vulnerable communities in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, including:

Thanks to support from the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services, we are able to help local businesses like Sabores Colombianos on University Ave by keeping their customers and employees safe. Sabores Colombianos is accepting take out and delivery orders at (619) 756-7742 or via UberEats, Postmates & Doordash.
Photo: Adriana Taboada

July 2020 Update:

Since our offices have gone remote, IRC in San Diego has provided reliable and much-needed support to refugee, immigrant, and low-income communities in San Diego, including: 





June 2020 Update:

Amid historic unemployment rates, an unprecedented landscape for small businesses and a widespread health pandemic, the IRC in San Diego has supported 423 individuals access unemployment and other financial applications, secured 21 job placements for new Americans as the economy re-opens and distributed over $32,000 in emergency cash assistance for families in need. Thank you to our supporters who make our work possible and to our incredible, resilient staff who go above and beyond to ensure our services reach some of San Diego's most vulnerable and at-risk communities. See our impact in numbers over the past four months: 

Photo: Photo by Carlos Solorio

Safety in Style: Keeping City Heights Safe 

In partnership with our friends at Fair at 44, The El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Association, The City Heights Business Association and Artform Swapmeet, this June we held a free mask distribution event for low-income communities in City Heights. In doing so, we were able to provide 150 face masks for City Height residents while also supporting local refugee and immigrant designers: Humura Style, Lily Kouture, Snips & Seams Alterations, Ali Awow and Lamia Nabki. 

Designers are still accepting orders and are ready to keep you safe! To order your mask made by a local business, click here.

May 15 Update:

May spotlight: The IRC in San Diego's In-Home Childcare Business Team help essential childcare providers stay safe (and at home), as they re-open their in-home businesses, giving them access to free cleaning supplies and other essentials through our first-ever socially distant donation drive-thru and walk-up line.

Since going remote in March, we have been able to continue providing life-changing services as well as provide emergency COVID-19 resources and support. Our impact in numbers:


April 25 Update: 

Here are some great ways to support the IRC and the families we serve: 

Purchase face masks from one of these client-owned tailoring businesses: 

Ali Awow

$5 Standard | 619-629-1835 | Pick Up (City Heights), shipping available.

Amera Tooma

$4 Standard (w/wire), $7 w/filter pocket

619-888-8387 | Pick up (El Cajon), shipping available, delivery to some areas in San Dieg

Huruma Clothing Co. 

Owner: Prince Shamamba

619-581-3004 | [email protected]


Lamiaa Nabki

$10 Standard (fabric straps), $7 Standard (elastic straps)

619-431-6308 | Pick up (San Diego), Shipping available.


Rands Fashions

Owner: Nagiba Gago

$5 Standard, $10 w/filter pocket

619-536-6362 | Facebook: Rands Fashions

Samahir Shoka

$5 Standard

619-938-5947 | Pick up only (El Cajon)

The Stars Fashion

Owner: Jawan Habib

$4 Standard (w/wire), $6 w/wire & filter pocket

619-715-2614 | Facebook: The Stars Fashion | Pick up (El Cajon), Shipping available


Order take-out or delivery from a client-owned restaurant or catering business: 

Order from #IRCSBDC client, Alfa Alfajores, for locally made South American sandwich cookies via

African Spice Sambusa 619-304-8970  |  Available on Grubhub & Doordash

Alfa Alfajores Bakery  760-822-2949  |  Available for home delivery or pick up by appointment.

Choice Confection  619-752-4864  |  Delivery or pick up by appointment

Farida's Somalian Cuisine  619-264-2995  |  Available on Postmates and Doordash

Mal-Al-Sham: Taste of Damascus 619-401-1005  |   Available on DoorDash

Red Sambusas & Catering 619-245-7946  |  Home delivery available

Sugar Mamma Caramels 619-301-9956   |  Home delivery available

Taste of Africa Cuisine 619-583-5788  |  Available on Grubhub & Doordash 

Tito's Deli  619 -795-4271 | Order on Yelp, UberEats, Doordash & Grubhub

Too Sabrozo Deli 619-909-2134  |  Home delivery available

Vietnamese & Chinese Noodle House 619-477-5643  |  Available on Doordash

Villas Mexican Food 619-337-3990  |  Available on Grubhub

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April 24 Update:

In addition to the services listed below, our office has also provided significant financial support and relief as of April 24:



March 17 Update:

While our office has suspended in-person programming, we have been able to adapt service delivery to ensure the health and safety of our clients. IRC staff are:

When the novel coronavirus reached California, IRC acted quickly to develop a mitigation and response plan which is now well under way. We continue to actively monitor updates from public health officials and are circulating CDC guidance with our staff, community partners, and clientsincluding resettled refugees, asylum-seekers, and vulnerable immigrant populations. This includes sharing best practices in social distancing, personal hygiene, and health with our staff and clients, including making this information accessible in multiple languages. We are committed to protecting the physical health and safety of our clients, volunteers and staff and are grateful for our local community that continues to stand by us in support of refugee and immigrant communities during these uncertain times.   

Want to help? You can support our work here. For more information, email our Development Coordinator, Lida Dianti, at [email protected].