The Refugee Resettlement program is part of the International Institute of Rhode Island. Our mission is to enable all area residents, especially immigrants and refugees, to become self-reliant, invested participants in our communities, while fostering respect and understanding among all people.
This blog is a means of communication between IIRI and those who are interested in volunteering or helping out with events related to refugee resettlement in Rhode Island. It is also a means of sharing news and stories pertinant to refugees and refugee resettlement.
There is a LOT of work to be done at a refugee resettlement agency. There are health case workers, education case workers, volunteer coordinators, interpreters, and reception and placement workers. All of these people, among others, work together to provide the easiest and healthiest transition into the American way of life that is possible for the refugees.
The work starts with the reception and placement team (R&P), who work with the family for the first three months of their time in America. These individuals set up housing nearby to the International Institute of RI (IIRI), in the greater Providence area. The housing needs to be safe, sanitary, and in good repair. They also try to get the most affordable housing, so that the family can assume responsibility over the rent once the R&P period is over.
The R&P team fully furnishes the home, supplies food, toiletries, and fresh linens and supplies for the family to use. Most of these items come from donations given to the organization. Upon arrival to the new home, a culturally-appropriate meal is prepared, as well as one day’s worth of food stored and ready for use. Within one day of arrival, food or food allowance at least equivalent to the food stamp allocation for that family unit and continued food assistance until receipt of food stamps or until individual or family is able to provide food for himself, herself, or themselves.
Setting up homes for incoming families is a lot of work! If you want to get involved, contact Mary Ellen Lynch at email@example.com