The IRC in Baltimore, MD

The International Rescue Committee provides opportunities for refugees, asylees, victims of human trafficking, survivors of torture and other immigrants to thrive in Baltimore and around Maryland.  

The IRC works with government bodies, civil society actors and local volunteers to help refugees and immigrants integrate and contribute to our communities.  

Read more below for more information on the U.S. refugee resettlement program, available services in Baltimore and how to get involved. 

In Baltimore and other offices across the country, the IRC helps refugees and immigrants to thrive and rebuild their lives.

How do refugees arrive in the U.S. and Baltimore?

Refugees are people fleeing violence and persecution—in Syria, Iraq, Eritrea, and other countries in crisis. They are seeking safety and the chance to move their lives forward.

The United States has a long tradition of sheltering those fleeing conflict and persecution. Once refugees have been identified by the United Nations refugee agency and cleared for resettlement, the U.S. government works with the IRC and eight other national resettlement agencies to help them restart their lives in America. Out of the nearly 20 million refugees in the world, fewer than one percent are considered for resettlement worldwide.

Refugees may be placed in a city where they have relatives or friends, or where there’s an established community that shares their language or culture. Other considerations include the cost of living and a community’s ability to provide medical services. However, as legal U.S. residents, refugees may live in any city and state they choose.

Although even many locals may not know it, Baltimore has a long history of being a destination for refugees – from people fleeing pogroms in the early 20th century to Soviet refugees in the 1980s and 90s. In fact, Old Bay Seasoning, Baltimore’s iconic spice, was invented by a refugee who had fled Nazi-occupied Germany. The IRC in Baltimore opened in 1999.

Refugees contribute to Baltimore city and surrounding counties as new residents, taxpayers, employees, students, home and business owners, and neighbors.

Learn more about how refugee resettlement works.

What services does the IRC in Baltimore provide?

IRC programs are designed to ensure refugees thrive in Maryland. Our services in Baltimore include:

Resettlement: meeting the basic needs for food, shelter and legal rights in the early, critical stages of resettlement.

Health and Wellness: promoting wellness and ensuring access to healthcare services that address physical and psychological needs.

Youth: supporting students and families to succeed in U.S. schools.

Community Integration: referrals and connections to partner agencies, public benefits, mentors or other community support.

Economic Empowerment: protecting, supporting and improving household livelihoods and financial security.

Interpreter Services Program: providing professional interpretation for all resettlement programs.  

Immigration Legal Services: offering high-quality, affordable assistance with USCIS petitions and processes.

Read below for more details or to request specific services.

How does the IRC support the social and cultural integration of refugees?

IRC staff work closely with community groups, volunteers, schools, neighbors and many others to support refugees in Baltimore and the surrounding communities. 

New refugee arrivals are greeted and welcomed at the airport upon arrival. Other individuals are assessed soon after services are requested to determine eligibility.

Case management serves as the central point of contact, providing care and services to eligible refugees, asylees, parolees, special immigrant visa holders, and victims of trafficking. Caseworkers ensure that all clients receive high quality resettlement services and access to transitional adjustment services in accordance with government contracts and IRC policies.

Cultural orientation provides intensive, language-specific classes to assist newly arrived refugees in learning about life in the Baltimore community.

Youth case management supports students and local schools through home visits, ongoing orientation and mediation.

Intensive case management provides additional support to participants with special needs beyond standard resettlement services.

Health services connect participants to needed services and facilitates language-specific, culturally-appropriate adjustment groups. 

To request services: please complete this appointment request form or call 410-327-1885, extension 111. 

How does the IRC help refugees find first jobs, build a career and contribute to the local economy?

The economic empowerment program at the IRC assists participants in securing employment, building personal financial success and becoming contributing members to the Baltimore economy. Programs include:  

Entry level employment services connect eligible participants with a first job or entry level position with a local employer. Services include pre-employment preparation, resume writing, application support and direct connections to our vast network of local employer partners.

Career development connects eligible participants to living wage positions along a career path. Services include vocational skills training, vocational English language training and advanced job readiness training coupled with targeted employer outreach and job placement support.

Financial capability offers classes and coaching on topics such as budgeting, banking and credit, and links clients to loans through IRC's Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO).  

To request services: please complete this appointment request form or call 410-327-1885, extension 111. 

If you are an employer interested in hiring refugees, please contact us. The IRC’s free employment services are available to help refugees and employers at every step of the way. 

What immigration legal services does the IRC provide?

The IRC in Baltimore is recognized by the U.S. Department of Justice to provide immigration legal services.

Please note: fees are charged for services and will be determined at the time of appointment. Services will not be denied based on the inability to pay.

To request an appointment: please email us or call 410-327-1885, extension 111. Please note there may be a waitlist for appointments. 

The following services are available:

General consultation, starting at $50 for adults
Adjustment of status (green card)
Family petitions
Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
Temporary Protected Status (TPS) renewal
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) renewal
Renewal or replacement of documents

How can I get involved with the IRC in Baltimore?

There are many ways to get involved, depending on your interest and availability. You can:

Apply for an internship: each autumn, spring and summer we welcome a new cohort of interns.  

Volunteer: review the current position descriptions and attend the next info session to learn more! 

Purchase an item from our Amazon wishlist: staff will distribute these in-demand items to new families. 

Donate needed items: review our donation guidelines and list of needed items. 

Donate: make a tax-deductible financial contribution online or mail to our office. 

Follow us on Facebook: get updates and featured stories. Use #RefugeesWelcome to show your support.  

Rent apartments to refugees: the IRC arranges for refugees to rent their own apartments or houses. If you own or manage apartments or homes and would like to consider renting to refugees, please contact us. We are looking for multi-unit properties.  

Hire a humanitarian immigrant: our clients are eager to work. If you own a business or are a hiring professional, contact our employment team for more information. 


Welcome from our director

Executive Director, IRC Maryland

Maryland continues to be an incredibly welcoming place for refugees and other immigrants. This has been instrumental in ensuring that the hundreds of refugees who arrive each year are equipped with the knowledge and resources needed to build their lives here. With these tools, our new neighbors are on the path to become future leaders, contribute to the local economy, and become actively engaged in the community. I am honored to lead the IRC offices in Maryland alongside some of the most generous and supportive community members to help as many individuals as possible thrive and become integral parts of our community.

Preethi Nampoothiri
Executive Director, IRC Maryland

Our impact


people in the U.S. received asylum and protection support.

IRC offices across the U.S. provide immediate aid--including food, housing and medical attention—among other support.

Learn about resettlement and asylum


people were assisted to become new U.S. citizens.

The IRC offers high-quality, low-cost immigration legal services and citizenship assistance in cities across the U.S.

Learn about immigration


Our economic empowerment support includes financial coaching, vocational training and asset building.

people with training to help them build careers and income.

Learn more