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Refugees, Immigrants, and Asylum Seekers

E. Terrence Alspaugh, LCPC, provides counseling and support to refugees, immigrants, and asylum seekers in the Baltimore metropollitan area as a healthcare provider who has partnered with the Intercultural Counseling Connection and Physicians for Human Rights.  In addition, for those who are interested in providing and/or receiving services for this target population, Terrence has created the following resource list of community and service providers in the Baltimore area.  Feel free to share this information with others and to suggest additions to this resource list:  

 

RESOURCES FOR REFUGEES, IMMIGRANTS, AND ASYLUM SEEKERS IN THE BALTIMORE METRO AREA

Maryland Office for Refugees and Asylees (MORA), Department of Human Resources, Maryland.  This office provides support and services to federally-recognized refugees and political asylees to ease their integration into American society.  MORA has helped more than 40,000 refugees make Maryland their home, aiding their transition from “displaced persons” to independent, contributing members of the national economy and the local community. We work through a network of public and private service providers, to plan, administer, and coordinate transitional services aimed at helping refugees become self-sufficient as quickly as possible. Key areas for aiding refugees in adjusting to American life include cultural orientation and career training.  Our service providers instruct refugees on life skills, familiarizing them with such daily routines as how to shop at the supermarket, manage a budget, take public transportation, open a savings account, prepare for a job interview or call 911 for emergencies; web:  http://dhr.maryland.gov/maryland-office-for-refugees-and-asylees

Asylee Women Enterprise, AWE.  Asylee Women Enterprise helps women (and men) seeking asylum to rebuild their lives and their spirits. Asylee Women Enterprise (AWE) provides transitional housing, companionship and community to asylum seekers by offering a safe and nurturing home, opportunities to connect within the larger community and each other.  It is a secular organization open to all asylum seekers, established by a collaboration of Catholic Sisters from 8 Catholic women’s religious communities in Baltimore; web:  www.asyleewomen.org

Sisters from the following Communities have been instrumental in developing AWE:

Benedictine Sisters of Baltimore
Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart
Mission Helpers of the Sacred Heart
School Sisters of Notre Dame
Sister of Notre Dame de Namur
Sisters of St. Joseph of Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia
Sisters of Bon Secours
Sisters of St. Francis, Philadelphia

Asylum Seekers Housing Network, ASHN.  ASHN provides long-term housing for asylum seekers in an intentional community house - the Reservoir Hill House of Peace (RHHP). Residents of RHHP include Mennonite and Brethren volunteers and others committed to intentional community living. ASHN residents are expected to actively involve themselves in this dynamic community; web:  www.ashnetwork.org

Episcopal Refugee and Immigrant Center Alliance - ERICA.  ERICA welcomes those fleeing injustice, poverty, and persecution in other countries.  With volunteers and community partners, ERICA helps refugees, asylees, asylum seekers, and other immigrants through educational workshops, material assistance, and one-on-one problem solving; web:  www.erica-baltimore.org

Intercultural Counseling Connection.   The Intercultural Counseling Connection is a referral network of mental health professionals committed to providing culturally responsive counseling and therapeutic services for refugees in the greater Baltimore area; web:  www.interculturalcounseling.org

International Rescue Committee, IRC.  The IRC helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their future.  They have a significant presence in Baltimore and facilitate the relocation of @ 1500-2000 international refugees to the Baltimore/DC metro area annually; web:  www.rescue.org

Kids In Need of Defense, KIND.  KIND serves as the leading organization for the protection of children who enter the U.S. immigration system alone and strives to ensure that no such child appears in immigration court without representation. We achieve fundamental fairness through high-quality legal representation and by advancing the child’s best interests, safety, and well-being.  KIND staff and our pro bono attorney partners at law firms, corporations, and law schools nationwide represent unaccompanied immigrant and refugee children in their deportation proceedings.  Together, we ensure that no child stands in court alone;  www.supportkind.org

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, LIRS.  Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service shares its headquarters at The Lutheran Center at Christ Church—Baltimore with Lutheran World Relief.  LIRS works with migrants and refugees, U.S. Lutherans, and many partners in service and justice to accomplish our mission. Refugees are resettled through a network of 28 local organizations in 26 states, most of which are Lutheran social ministry organizations. Sixteen of those organizations also provide immigration legal services. Asylum seekers, survivors of torture and other migrants impacted by detention are served through 23 partners providing legal and social services including visitation ministry. In addition, we work directly with eight foster care programs at the state level to provide family reunification and foster care services for unaccompanied refugee and immigrant minors; web:  www.lirs.org

 

Physicians for Human Rights, PHR.  PHR has come to occupy an important position in the human rights movement. We focus on the critical role of forensic science, clinical medicine, and public health research in ensuring that human rights abuses are properly documented using the most rigorous scientific methodologies possible. Our experts use epidemiology, medical and psychological evaluations, autopsies, forensic anthropology, and crime scene analysis to document serious abuses, including murder, torture, rape, starvation, forced displacement, and civilian attacks. PHR’s human rights training and mentoring emphasize medicine and science as the foundation of every aspect of evidence collection, documentation, and implementation of international norms and standards. We provide credible evidence, data, and research to corroborate allegations of human rights violations not only to prevent future abuses, but also to ensure the prosecution of perpetrators by courts, tribunals, and truth commissions; www.physiciansforhumanrights.org

Tahirih Justice Center.  Since 1997, Tahirih has served at the forefront of the fight to end violence against immigrant women and girls and has pioneered efforts in the United States to protect the most vulnerable members of our society.  We amplify our lifesaving impact by partnering with a robust network of nearly 2,000 pro bono attorneys from 300+ top-ranked law firms and corporations, as well as pro bono medical professionals and service providers, who donate their time to help immigrant women and girls access justice and rebuild their lives; web:  http://www.tahirih.org/locations/baltimore/

 

Presbyterian Church (USA), Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA), Refugee Ministry, at the national level, and at the local level - Presbytery of Baltimore, Congregational Advocacy.

One area of Presbyterian Disaster Assistance’s (PDA) ministry that is not as well-known is our work with refugee and immigrant ministries. As the church we are called to "welcome the stranger."

At the national level and in Baltimore, Susan Krehbiel, Catalyst for Refugees & Asylum, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, and Director of Congregational Advocacy, Presbytery of Baltimore, works to coordinate PC(USA) humanitarian response and advocacy on behalf of refugees, asylum seekers and other forced migrants.  She coordinates PDA assistance and technical support to mid-councils and local task forces to equip congregations in their respective ministries.  She also works with other PC(USA) ministries and with ecumenical and interfaith partners to expand our capacity to serve refugees and other vulnerable migrants; web: www.pda.pcusa.org and www.baltimorepresbytery.org/staff

Email: skrehbiel@baltimorepresbytery.org

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