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Holding Hands

REACTresettlement

REACT DC in collaboration with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) will open a refugee resettlement site in Loudoun County, VA in June 2024.

Meet the Team

REACT DC is thrilled to announce that our application to establish a resettlement office in Loudoun County, VA has been approved by the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM)! This marks a significant step forward in our mission to support refugees seeking protection and rebuilding their lives in the United States.

Designers

Partnership with IRC

The IRC's impact at a glance

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) helps people affected by humanitarian crises—including the climate crisis—to survive, recover and rebuild their lives.

Their work

Founded at the call of Albert Einstein in 1933, the IRC is now at work in over 50 crisis-affected countries as well as communities throughout Europe and the Americas. They deliver lasting impact by providing health care, helping children learn, and empowering individuals and communities to become self-reliant, always seeking to address the inequalities facing women and girls.

 

Here are highlights of their impact over a year.

In 2022, the IRC and their partners reached over 32.9 million people in countries affected by crisis. As part of this work, they:

  • Supported 3,137 health facilities

  • Provided 8,013,515 primary health care consultations

  • Treated 222,278 children under 5 for severe acute malnutrition

  • Admitted 453,344 children and 106,722 pregnant and lactating women to nutrition programs

  • Built or rehabilitated water supplies serving 3,490,159 people

  • Reached 1,421,270 people with cash assistance

  • Distributed $109,751,532 in cash or vouchers

  • Provided counseling to 43,814 women survivors of gender-based violence

  • Supported 122,390 children in IRC safe spaces and other protection programs

  • Enrolled 807,853 children and youth in learning programs

  • Provided 186,491 individuals with livelihood support

... among other assistance provided around the world last year.

U.S. Refugee Admissions Program:  Reception and Placement

Refugees selected for resettlement through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program are eligible for Reception and Placement (R&P) assistance or support from private sponsors upon arrival in the United States. Each refugee approved for admission to the United States is sponsored by one of ten non-profit resettlement agencies participating in the Reception and Placement Program under a cooperative agreement with the Department of State, or through the new private sponsorship program, Welcome Corps. For more information about the Welcome Corps, please visit the Welcome Corps website.

Where are Refugees Resettled?

Agencies place refugees through a network of about 350 local affiliates located throughout the United States.  Representatives from the resettlement agencies meet frequently to review the biographic information and other case records sent by the Department of State’s overseas Resettlement Support Centers to match the particular needs of each incoming refugee with the specific resources available in U.S. communities (e.g., availability of affordable and safe housing, school capacity, medical care, and employment opportunities).

Through this process, they determine which resettlement agency will sponsor a case and where each refugee will be initially resettled in the United States.

Many refugees have family or close friends already in the United States, and resettlement agencies make every effort to reunite them.  Others are placed where they have the best opportunity for success through employment with the assistance of strong community services. The availability and affordability of housing is a key factor impacting a community’s capacity to resettle individuals.  The Department of State and Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), as well as the resettlement agencies, and other partners at the federal, state, and local level engage in intensive efforts to identify and develop housing resources.  The goal is to resettle refugees in areas as close to family or friends that also have appropriate housing as well as strong services and employment opportunities.

What Do the Resettlement Agencies Do?

The sponsoring resettlement agency is responsible for placing refugees with one of its local affiliates and for providing initial services for up to 90 days after arrival.  The Department of State’s standard cooperative agreement with each of the resettlement agencies specifies the services the agency must provide.   A limited one-time per capita amount is available for the local resettlement affiliates’ use on behalf of refugees to meet their critical direct assistance needs, such as rent, food, clothing, and furnishings.

The remainder of the per capita funds is used to fund the delivery of services by resettlement staff, such as locating and preparing housing, cultural orientation, enrollment of youth in school, assistance with access to employment, medical and legal services, and case management during refugees’ first three months in their new communities.

The Reception and Placement Program combines public and private resources, and resettlement agencies work closely with local communities to supplement federal funding through volunteers and donations.

What Do the Private Sponsors Do?

Through the Welcome Corps, private sponsor groups of five or more Americans, volunteer to support a refugee or refugee family during their first 90 days in the United States.  The private sponsors are responsible for providing initial services very similar to those a resettlement agency provides.  This includes locating and preparing affordable housing, enrollment of children in school, assistance with securing employment, assistance with enrolling in federal and state benefits for which they may qualify and helping them to integrate into their new community.

Private sponsors must also raise funds to support the initial resettlement period equivalent to the amount the U.S. government provides to resettlement agencies, which is $2,425 of in-kind or cash support per refugee.  Most of these funds may not be given directly to refugees, but rather spent on their behalf by the sponsors, for example, on housing or to purchase items to help them get settled.

The Welcome Corps also combines public and private resources.  Sponsors work closely with organizations funded by the Department of State that have expertise in resettlement and provide sponsors with tools, resources, and ongoing guidance prior to and throughout the sponsorship period.

What Happens When Refugees Arrive?

Upon arrival in the United States, refugees are met by a staff or volunteer from the local resettlement affiliate, private sponsors, or a family member or friend.  They are taken to their initial housing, which has essential furnishings, appropriate food, and other necessities.

The resettlement agencies, family and friends, or private sponsors assist refugees during their initial resettlement in the United States, including enrolling in employment services, registering youth for school, accessing medical care, applying for benefits as eligible, and connecting them with necessary social or language services.  In coordination with publicly supported refugee service and assistance programs, resettlement agencies and private sponsors focus on assisting refugees to achieve economic self-sufficiency through employment as soon as possible after their arrival in the United States.

Beyond Reception and Placement

The Reception and Placement Program and sponsorship through the Welcome Corps are both limited to the first three months after arrival.  The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement works through U.S. states as well as resettlement agencies, and other community-based organizations, to provide longer-term assistance, as well as English language training, employment, and social services.  Refugees may also be eligible for federal benefits.

“Refugees are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, children, with the same hopes and ambitions as us—except that a twist of fate has bound their lives to a global refugee crisis on an unprecedented scale.”

— Khaled Hosseini

Where to Find Us

20130 Lakeview Center Plaza suite 400 office number 415, Ashburn, VA 20147*

*Beginning June 1, 2024

Mon - Fri: 9am - 5pm*
*Appointment only, no walk-ins
Weekends: As needed

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