The Refugee Support Network is an effort in collaborative service, pulling together four refugee and immigrant social service agencies to work on improving service to underserved refugee and immigrant populations in King County. The four participants this year are East African Community Services (located on Martin Luther King Jr. Way South), Jewish Family Service: Refugee and Immigrant Service Center (located in Kent and Bellevue), International Rescue Committee (located both in SeaTac and Downtown Seattle), and Somali Community Services Coalition (also located in SeaTac). Each of these agencies provides significant support to various refugee and immigrant populations in South Seattle and South King County.
East African Community Services
East African Community Services (EACS) was established in 2000 to provide culturally specific advocacy, information, referral and direct social services to Somali, Oromo, Ethiopian and other East African refugees living in King County. When civil war erupted in Somalia in 1991, many people fled away from the violence. Today, nearly 30,000 East African refugees have made the King County their home.
East African Community Services provides a variety of services to members of the East African community in south Seattle, including, but not limited to: homework help and after-school tutoring for children in Primary, Middle and High-School; ESL, Citizenship and Computer Literacy classes for Adults; Case Management and Interpretation/Translation services.
For more information on volunteer and internship opportunities offered at East African Community Services, contact:
Nick Anderson, Volunteer and Programs Coordinator, AmeriCorps VISTA
Jewish Family Service: Refugee and Immigrant Service Center
Jewish Family Service of Seattle began in 1892 with the sole purpose of resettling Eastern European and Sephardic Jewish refugees. Today, JFS supports the adjustment and employment of refugees and immigrants from all religions and cultures world wide, including Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. With our many social service programs like financial assistance, ESL, citizenship classes, and job placement - we help new American families become fully integrated members of our community. For more information on volunteer and internship opportunities offered at JFS Refugee and Immigrant Service Centers, please contact:
Danielle Wallace, Community Resources Coordinator, AmeriCorps VISTA
Phone: (253) 850-4065 ext. 15
International Rescue Committee
Founded in 1933, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) serves refugees and communities victimized by oppression or violent conflict worldwide. In addition to helping refugees in crisis areas around the world, the IRC operates resettlement offices throughout the United States. The IRC Seattle was established in 1976 and provides the services and support needed to assist over 550 newly resettled refugees, asylees and victims of human trafficking each year. Through direct case management the IRC helps families and individuals rebuild their lives and become independent and involved members of the community. IRC Seattle empowers refugees to achieve self sufficiency through a variety of services such as: safe and affordable housing, access to health and social services, school enrollment, opportunities to learn English, and employment counseling to help find a job and succeed in the workplace.
For more information on volunteer and internship opportunities offered at International Rescue Committee - Seattle, contact:
Maggi Little, Community Outreach Coordinator, AmeriCorps VISTA
Phone: (206) 623.2105
Somali Community Services Coalition
The mission of the Somali Community Services Coalition (SCSC) is to enhance and improve the well being and quality of life of Somali families and individuals while maintaining the cultural heritage of the Somali community. SCSC was founded in 1995 by a group of Somali refugees who recognized the need for social services among the Somali community in King County. This year SCSC will provide a variety of social services including: immigration and employment assistance, parent-school connection workshops, advocacy, interpretation, and translation services, conflict mediation services, legal and medical referrals, and job assistance services. In addition, SCSC coordinates four tutoring programs throughout King County. Through these diverse programs and services and our partnerships with other organizations, we hope to meet the equally diverse needs of our community. The Somali Community Services Coalition served more than 150 East African youth in our tutoring programs in the 2008-2009 school year. Please visit our website for more information: somalicsc.org, and feel free to call or e-mail with questions.
For more information on volunteer and internship opportunities offered at Somali Community Services Coalition, contact:
Susan Tipton, Programs Coordinator, AmeriCorps VISTA
Phone: (206) 431 5141
The Refugee Support Network uses AmeriCorps*VISTA members working as a team yet serving at each of the participating agencies in an independent capacity. This coalition of AmeriCorps service members provides easy and natural communication between the participating organizations.
AmeriCorps is a network of local, state, and national service programs that connects more than 70,000 Americans each year with service positions to meet our country's critical needs in education, public safety, health, and the environment. AmeriCorps members serve with more than 2,000 nonprofits, public agencies, and faith-based and community organizations, and since 1994, more than 400,000 men and women have provided needed assistance to millions of Americans across the nation through their AmeriCorps service. VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) is a division of AmeriCorps where members leverage human, financial, and material resources to increase the capacity of low-income communities across the country to solve their own problems. Refugee Support Network agencies each house AmeriCorps*VISTA members whose chief task will be increasing the site's service capacity through volunteer recruitment, program management and resource development.
For more information on AmeriCorps*VISTA, go to www.americorps.gov or contact:
Marie Hoffmann, AmeriCorps VISTA Leader, Refugee Support Network