The IRC in San Diego continues to operate remotely, serving clients virtually while the physical office is closed. Jump to:
- How to purchase face masks from IRC client businesses
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- Latest Program Updates
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:
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:
- $1.4M in grant and loan funds secured for 73 small businesses
- 689 small businesses received application support and/or business counseling services
- 200 San Diego small businesses received Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in August
- $36K+ in emergency cash assistance distributed to families
- 474 Unemployment Insurance & financial relief applications filed
- 62 Job placements and 615 individuals provided with job search support
- 1162 Individuals participated in one of 117 virtual trainings
- 320 Youth supported through virtual tutoring or mentorships
- 598 Clients served in remote immigration legal service appointments and citizenship instruction classes
- 1162 Volunteer hours given by 65 existing and 47 new volunteers
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:
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.
Read & Listen to KPBS’s story on our Safety in Style event here.
May 15 Update:
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:
342 Unemployment Insurance & financial relief applications
213 Small businesses received application support and/or business counseling services
186 Remote immigration legal service appointments
$17, 345 Emergency cash assistance distributed to families
$391, 798 in Grant loans secured for 27 small businesses
72 Youth supported through virtual tutoring or mentorships
April 25 Update:
Here are some great ways to support the IRC and the families we serve:
$5 Standard | 619-629-1835 | Pick Up (City Heights), shipping available.
$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 | princeshamss [at] yahoo.com
$10 Standard (fabric straps), $7 Standard (elastic straps)
619-431-6308 | Pick up (San Diego), Shipping available.
Owner: Nagiba Gago
$5 Standard, $10 w/filter pocket
619-536-6362 | Facebook: Rands Fashions
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
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
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:
Calling each and every client to ensure that families have accurate, in-language health and safety information and are able to meet their basic needs
Connecting families with resources such as public benefits, food banks, diaper banks, free internet options, and other resources
We have established an internal employment task force to support clients across all programs who have been laid off, had hours reduced, or are at risk of losing their jobs
Offering support loans with zero interest and zero payments for the first six months to current lending clients
Supporting small businesses through our Small Business Development Center and helping microenterprise clients apply for Small Business Administration disaster loans
Continuing to support current immigration clients on their applications and filings, and looking for ways to take on new clients remotely
Supporting youth whose classes have been moved online to access their courses and connect with virtual tutoring
Working to ensure asylum seekers have housing either in shelters, transitional housing, or short-term emergency stays
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 clients—including 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 Lida.Dianti [at] Rescue.org.