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News from Oakland, CA

Get the latest updates and event listings from the International Rescue Committee in Oakland, CA, and learn how you can help welcome newly arrived refugees.


Citizenship Workshop Assistant

Volunteers will assist clients as they complete their citizenship applications.


GenR: Bay Area Force For Change Event

MARK YOUR CALENDARS for the GenR: Bay Area Force For Change Event! 


Citizenship and Immigration Services in Northern California

The IRC's Immigration Department can help any immigrant population to petition to bring family members to the U.S., apply for citizenship, green cards, work authorization, travel documents, and more. 


The Vision Project

Each year, tens of thousands of refugees fleeing violence and persecution resettle in the United States, including the Bay Area. Resettlement means a fresh start and opportunity, especially for adolescent girls whose futures had been limited by a lack of access to education and opportunities and restrictive ideas about  women. Here. these girls have the chance to improve themselves, their families, and their communities. The Vision Project aims to empower refugee girls and change perceptions within their communities by providing girls with the skills and support they need to envision a positive future, and ultimately achieve their goals. The project runs three week-long workshops each year with resettled refugee girls, and each week culminates in a personal photoshoot for each girl where they embody their future selves. 


H.O.M.E Mentorship

The Housing, Outreach, Mentorship, and Education Program provides three levels of support for newly arriving families through community groups of volunteers. HOME teams (2-5 individuals) fundraise to provide a rental subsidy, a complete apartment setup and provide 6 months of mentorship to the family.


Client Coordinator Volunteer

The Client Coordinator volunteer manages the front desk and waiting lobby. This volunteer will always be the first person people see when they come into the IRC office. A Client Coordinator is responsible for setting and maintaining the overall environment, while clients wait in the lobby. Client Coordinators greet clients and help them access services. The volunteer is responsible for directing client needs to the appropriate staff member as well as answer phones, take messages, and respond to general questions.


ESL Volunteer

Oakland IRC’s Economic Empowerment program supports clients in rebuilding their lives in the U.S. The IRC supports new arrivals find their first job in the U.S. through Early Employment Programs, which blend classroom job-readiness instruction and individualized employment case management in helping over 75 percent of enrolled cases successfully find employment within 6 months of arrival to the U.S. While clients are looking for a job, they simultaneously learn about the complex U.S. financial services system, receive help in establishing bank accounts, and can access consumer advocacy and financial coaching support from IRC Financial Counselors.


Economic Empowerment Volunteer

Economic Empowerment in Oakland provides tools, resources for economic mobility, financial independence, autonomy. IRC Services are designed to assist clients with targeted, industry-specific career counseling and training. Clients who are ready to graduate from entry-level positions to more advanced career opportunities are able to access these services that will help them grow professionally. The Economic Empowerment Volunteer will support these services through direct client interaction, coordination of supportive volunteer services, and classroom training.


Administrative Support Volunteer

The Finance and Administration Department is responsible for the IRC in Northern California’s financial accounting functions and the oversight of the financial accounting processes of the offices to support programs. This volunteer position is within the Finance and Administration team and will support the team with various projects and month end close responsibilities included assisting with client coordination support and helping to foster an environment in which both clients and staff thrive in productivity. By providing support to the finance and administration team, the volunteer will help make the transition to Northern California easier for hundreds of refugees. The IRC supports new refugees with financial assistance, language classes, vocational training, and resume coaching.


Community Orientation & Program Coordination Volunteer

The resettlement services program (also referred to as the reception and placement, or R&P, program) is the first point of contact for newly arrived refugees and special immigrant visa holders. This case management program offers support, guidance, and counseling through the initial 3 months of resettlement. The R&P case management team provides services to orient refugees to life in the U.S., including (but not limited to) securing housing, applying for state benefits such as food stamps, cash benefits, and medical insurance, connecting clients with medical providers, registering children in school, applying for Social Security, conducting “cultural orientation” classes for all adults, and linking refugees to additional internal and community services. This year, the IRC in Oakland will be resettling refugees and special immigrant visa holders primarily from Afghanistan, El Salvador, Eritrea, and Burma. These clients will live all across the Bay Area, however, the majority of clients will likely reside in Contra Costa and Alameda County. The Anti-Trafficking Program provides intensive case management services to adult, foreign-born survivors of human trafficking. The majority of the clients in this program are currently from Central and South America.