The IRC in Sacramento, CA
The International Rescue Committee provides opportunities for refugees, asylees, victims of human trafficking, survivors of torture, and other immigrants to thrive in America. Each year, thousands of people, forced to flee violence and persecution, are welcomed by the people of the United States into the safety and freedom of America. These individuals have survived against incredible odds. The IRC works with government bodies, civil society actors, and local volunteers to help them translate their past experiences into assets that are valuable to their new communities. In Sacramento and other offices across the country, the IRC helps them to rebuild their lives.
Who are refugees?
Refugees are people fleeing violence and persecution—in Afghanistan, Ukraine, Honduras, and other countries in crisis. They are seeking safety and the chance to move their lives forward.
Why are refugees arriving in Sacramento?
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 1 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.
How does the IRC help refugees in Sacramento?
Our programs are designed to ensure refugees thrive in America--whether ensuring children are enrolled in school, adults become self-reliant through employment or starting businesses, or families receive acute medical care they need to recover from trauma or illness. The IRC helps those in need to rebuild their lives and regain control of their future in their new home community.
Refugees are greeted and welcomed at the airport by IRC case workers and volunteers to ensure their transition is as comfortable as possible. The IRC also makes sure newly arrived refugees receive:
- A furnished home
- Help with rent
- Health care
- Nutritious, affordable food
- English language classes
- Help building job, computer, and financial literacy skills
- Education for their children
- Social services and community support
- Legal services towards residency and citizenship
Our programs in Sacramento:
- Resettlement is with clients from touchdown at the airport. Within the initial three month span, the team helps refugees with housing, employment, benefits, health insurance, enrollment in English classes, cultural orientation, and referrals to internal and external support. Intensive case management is available for clients with special needs, for example a health condition, who may require additional and longer-term support.
- Early Employment assists clients in finding their very first jobs in the United States. This program offers basic job training, assistance with resumes and interviews, vocational scholarships, and weekly ESL classes.
- New Roots is an essential part of the IRC’s broader resettlement efforts. In Sacramento, New Roots helps refugees reestablish their ties to the land, celebrate their heritage and nourish themselves and their neighbors through urban farming and micro-enterprise training. The farm is located in West Sacramento and is gearing up for its first planting.
- Anti-Trafficking strives to provide timely, high-quality, comprehensive services to survivors of human trafficking as well as raise awareness and educate the public through collaboration and coordination with law enforcement and other community organizations.
- Immigration provides assistance in applying for Green Cards, Citizenship/Naturalization, travel documents, employment authorization, visa applications, petitioning for family reunification, CAM/AOR, and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
What services does the IRC provide to the wider community?
The IRC in Sacramento’s immigration department not only serves our refugee and asylee clients, but also any low-income immigrant population. In addition, the IRC in Sacramento partners with local service providers and community groups to conduct programming.
How can I help refugees in Sacramento?
There are many ways that you can get involved with the IRC’s work in Sacramento. You can:
Donate: Give a tax-deductible financial contribution either via the website or send it to our office.
Volunteer process and opportunities: Read the steps you need to go through to become an IRC volunteer and see our current list of volunteer opportunities here.
Internship opportunities: See our current list of internship opportunities here.
New or gently used items needed for refugees: We’re collecting bicycles, computers, child seats, and strollers for newly arrived refugees.
Spread the word: Consider hosting a fundraiser via Crowdrise. Stay connected by following us on Facebook and ask others to do the same!
What do refugees contribute to Sacramento?
Once they acclimate to their new environment, refugees often thrive and contribute to their communities, building careers, purchasing homes, gaining citizenship.
GenR: Bay Area Force For Change Event
MARK YOUR CALENDARS for the GenR: Bay Area Force For Change Event!
Corporate Engagement Opportunities
The IRC in Northern California is pleased to provide our local and national partners with opportunities to engage directly with our programs in a meaningful way. Through volunteer events, small corporate groups work together to deliver their unique assistance and expertise directly to the IRC's refugee and asylee clients. All activities can be paired with an education session that teaches participants the basics of refugee resettlement.
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 IRC in Sacramento recognizes the many hurdles that refugees and immigrants face while creating a new home in the U.S. Our multicultural staff collaborate to minimize those barriers through our services and programs, and create a welcoming environment for these new families. We would like to thank the Sacramento volunteers and donors who believe that a diverse community is a strong community and who have helped us make #RefugeesWelcome!Lisa WelzeLisa Welze is Resettlement Director of the IRC in Sacramento.
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