The IRC in Silver Spring, MD

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 Silver Spring 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 Syria, Iraq, Eritrea, and other countries in crisis. They are seeking safety and the chance to move their lives forward.

Why are refugees arriving in Silver Spring?

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.

Learn more about how refugee resettlement really works.

What are refugees’ immediate needs?

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 Silver Spring:

  • Resettlement: Meeting the basic needs for food, shelter and legal rights in the early, critical stages of resettlement.
  • Economic Empowerment: Protecting, supporting and improving household livelihoods and financial security.
  • Community Integration and Development: Strengthening communities and preparing individuals to participate fully in American society.
  • Health and Wellness: Promoting wellness and ensuring access to healthcare services that address physical and psychological needs.


What services does the IRC provide to the wider community?

The IRC’s immigration program assists community members with legal services such as Legal Permanent Residence applications and Citizenship applications. The IRC also provides employment services to qualifying community members.

How can I help refugees in Silver Spring?

Thank you for your compassionate response to the plight of refugees and for your interest in joining us to help them. As you can guess, we have been inundated with people from everywhere wanting to help and we are doing our best in trying to respond to all inquiries.  Our work here in the Metro DC area is critical and we need your help for all clients whom we proudly serve.

There are many ways that you can get involved. You can:

Donate: Give a tax-deductible financial contribution either via the website or sent to our office.

Fundraise for the IRC in Silver Spring: Create your own DIY peer fundraiser here to engage and involve your community with raising funds for the IRC in Silver Spring. You can also use the "Team Fundraiser" feature to fundraise as a team!

Volunteer: Read the steps you need to go through to become an IRC volunteer and see our current list of volunteer opportunities here.

Intern: See our current list of internship opportunities here.

Donate Items: Host a donation drive or purchase items from our Amazon Wish Lists.

Hire Refugees: Become an employer partner to provide job opportunities for refugees. Learn more.

Spread the Word: Consider hosting your own Fundraising Campaign (on- or offline). Stay connected via our newsletter, follow us on Facebook, and ask others to do the same!

What do refugees contribute to Silver Spring?

Once they acclimate to their new environment, refugees often thrive and contribute to their communities, building careers, purchasing homes, gaining citizenship.

Welcome from our director

IRC Maryland executive director

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