The IRC in Tallahassee, FL
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 Tallahassee 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 Tallahassee?
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 chose.
How does the IRC help refugees in Tallahassee?
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
What services does the IRC provide to the wider community?
The IRC Tallahassee office provides comprehensive services to refugees, entrants, victims of human trafficking and other eligible immigrants residing in Leon County and Northwest Florida assisting their integration and path to self-sufficiency.
How can I help refugees in Tallahassee?
There are many ways that you can get involved with the IRC’s work in Tallahassee. You can:
Donate: Give a tax-deductible financial contribution either via the website or sent 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 items for newly refugees. See how you can help.
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!
Other Ways to Get Involved: Employ refugees, connect us to affordable housing options
What do refugees contribute to Tallahassee?
Once they acclimate to their new environment, refugees often thrive and contribute to their communities, building careers, purchasing homes, gaining citizenship.
The IRC in Florida: A year in review and a renewed sense of hope
Throughout 2020, communities across Florida came together to ensure they remained welcoming to refugees, survivors of human trafficking and immigrant youth. Last year tested our communities in unprecedented ways. Despite these challenges, together we walked alongside our clients, learned from and supported one another as we navigated these times with resilience and grace. We now look forward with a renewed sense of hope and an understanding of the obstacles ahead.
The IRC invites you to participate in National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month
On Thursday, January 28, the IRC in Tallahassee is participating in National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month by inviting the community to join a free, live online panel discussions regarding human trafficking in North Florida.
The IRC in Tallahassee welcomes refugees from Latin America
Among the many challenges that 2020 brought to many around the world, the closing of international borders and travel restrictions as a result of the pandemic further limited the already dwindling number of refugees accepted by the Trump Administration. Prior to the pandemic, the Trump Administration had reduced the number of refugees the United States was committed to welcoming. At the onset of the pandemic, the arrivals of refugees to Tallahassee halted altogether, and it wasn’t until the end of 2020 that new families began to arrive across Big Bend communities. This time, the newly arrived families were coming from Latin America. This was a first for the IRC in Tallahassee’s short four-year history, which has historically welcomed families from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Syria.
The services delivered by our compassionate, tireless team of professionals are vital to the many members of our community who have experienced violence, family separation and other traumas. No less important are the refugee resettlement and community integration services, ensuring that refugees, asylees, survivors of human trafficking and other immigrants who have fled persecution are able to find safety in their new homes. I am thankful for your support and I invite you to continue your critical role as we seek to serve the most vulnerable members of our communities.David OliverDavid Oliver is Deputy Director of the IRC in Florida.
individuals from refugee and immigrant communities
We help people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover and regain control of their future.See our impact at a glance
refugees resettle across the country and rebuild their lives
The IRC helps refugees fleeing war and persecution to rebuild their lives in over 20 U.S. cities.Learn about refugees in America
people with training to help them build careers and income.
Our economic empowerment support includes financial coaching, vocational training and asset building.Learn more