Written by: Vionne Dosky
The Reception and Placement program, often referred to as R&P, is a 90-day case management initiative designed to assist newly arrived refugees. It is worth noting that the dedicated staff in this department are typically the first individuals that refugees encounter upon their arrival in the United States. Following a long flight, refugees depart the airport and are greeted by their assigned case manager, who ensures they receive a hot meal and arranges transportation to their temporary residence.
This department provides support to individuals from various countries and regions, although the majority hold refugee or Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) statuses. As of early 2023, the R&P program primarily serves Afghan clients, owing to the situation in Afghanistan following the Taliban’s takeover.
In our Virginia office, we have a team of six R&P case managers, the majority of whom work with clients holding SIV status. The Special Immigrant Visa is distinct from other immigration statuses, as it is granted to individuals who have collaborated with the United States in their home country. This status is awarded due to the heightened risks faced by the individual and their family if they were to remain in their home country as a result of their association with the United States.
The R&P program provides comprehensive support to clients from the moment they arrive in the United States until the end of their 90th day post-arrival. Case managers oversee various tasks, including initiating requests for the client’s initial cash assistance, applying for government benefits (such as SNAP, TANF, and Medicaid), enrolling children in school, requesting donated items, and making referrals to both internal and external resources. R&P case managers are responsible for managing the client’s R&P fund, a predetermined amount of money allocated per person for resettlement needs, with a priority focus on housing costs. They collaborate closely with ACC-DC Housing Coordinators and the ACC-DC Resource Development Team to identify and facilitate affordable and timely furnished move-ins for families. Given the exponential rise in the cost of living in the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia area in recent years, accomplishing this task is a formidable challenge, making teamwork an essential component of our success.
Staff Across ACC-DC Metro R&P Teams
Program Manager: Ziai Shafiqullah
Housing Coordinator: Bob Elston
Case Manager: Manizha Nuzhat (Lead), Nicole Hager, Vionne Dosky, Meqdad Mahmoodi, Iman Hasanvand, and Florance Ahmadi.
Silver Spring, MD
Program Manager: Hamasa Ebady
Housing/Logistics Coordinator: Anthony Riggs
Case Manager: Razia Mahrami (Lead), Nicholas McGuire, Kiera White