The IRC in Turlock, 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 Turlock 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 Turlock?
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 Turlock?
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 Turlock:
- 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
- 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.
- Immigration not only serves our refugee and asylee clients, but also any low-income immigrant population. The department 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 Turlock’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 Turlock?
There are many ways that you can get involved with the IRC’s work in Turlock. 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 welcome kits for newly refugees. See how you can help.
Spread the Word: Consider hosting your own fundraising campaign. 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 option.
What do refugees contribute to Turlock?
Once they acclimate to their new environment, refugees often thrive and contribute to their communities, building careers, purchasing homes, gaining citizenship.
IRC business spotlight: Mr. Gil's Market & Grill
Immigrants and refugees make up a sizeable minority of businesses for California and the Turlock/Modesto region. In that vein, the IRC in Turlock/Modesto is spotlighting refugee-owned businesses here in the Central Valley. The following is an interview with Baktash Rafiqyaar, owner of Mr. Gil's Market & Grill in Modesto.
IRC Turlock receives $350K grant to fight human trafficking
The International Rescue Committee received word this week that it received a $350,000 grant through the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) for its Turlock office to combat human trafficking. The investment will allow the IRC to partner with the Alliance for Community Transformation to fight human trafficking in Stanislaus, Merced, Mariposa, Mono, and Tuolumne Counties.
Register to Vote Here!
1 in 10 eligible voters are new Americans! The IRC is here to support with voter education to support naturalized citizens and eligible voters. If you are not eligible to vote, do not register to vote as it will have consequences on your immigration status. If you are not yet a U.S. citizen, contact the IRC's immigration services by calling or texting (408) 472-3675.
I’m incredibly excited and energized to join the IRC team in Northern California. I realize these past few months have been profoundly challenging for our community, IRC staff, volunteers, and the people we serve, and that we are not out of the woods yet. Despite these challenges, I have heard how amazing my colleagues and friends of IRC throughout Northern California have risen to meet these challenges. So I’ll begin with a thank you, for all your support and strength during these recent months, and over the years, as a partner and friend to IRC in Northern California and refugee and newcomer families who now call California home. It’s quite clear to me already that I’m joining a dedicated and passionate team of professionals who put clients’ needs first no matter how difficult the circumstances.Sarah TerlouwSarah Terlouw is director of the IRC's Northern California offices.
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