Reception and Placement
The Reception and Placement Program begins its work before refugees even arrive in the U.S. Once our staff is notified by the Federal Government that a refugee will be settling in our area, we help them fill out all of the paperwork they will need and find them appropriating housing, furnishings for their new apartment, and seasonally appropriate clothing. On the day of their arrival, ECDC staff meets them at the airport and takes them to their new home where we have prepared a culturally appropriate hot meal. After they have settled in, ECDC conducts a cultural orientation to help the newcomers acclimate to American customs and culture. Because most refugees are unable to immediately start working, we provide them with enough direct cash assistance to ensure their financial stability until they can sustain themselves. Next, we provide assistance in setting up required documents like a social security card, support in applying for benefits like food stamps and Medicaid, and help in enrolling them and their children in ESL classes and K-12 education. Our goal is that within 90 days, the refugees we help are well on their way to building safe, sustainable lives in their new home.
The Integration Department is composed of four grant-funded case-management programs aimed at providing continued support beyond the initial 90-Day Reception and Placement period. These programs are designed to help qualifying immigrants on a more personal level as they navigate the new language, customs, and systems of an entirely different society.
These clients, either Iraqi or Afghan nationals, served with the U.S. military or government in their respective home countries. As a result they are often under tremendous threat of violence. They are approved for admittance in their home countries, and assigned to resettlement agencies before arrival.
Those who have been forced to flee their countries due to a well-founded fear of persecution due to race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. Refugees are approved for admittance overseas, and assigned to a resettlement agency, like ECDC, before arrival in the United States.
OTHER RELATED PROGRAMS
Safe Journeys Domestic Violence (VA)
A community outreach, counseling, and assistance program that provides culturally and linguistically tailored case management to complement the existing services offered for domestic violence survivors in the region, and facilitates immigrant participation in domestic violence services.
Breast Cancer Patient Navigation (DC/VA)
Empowers groups of refugee and immigrant women who are going through breast cancer treatment processes. ACC provides culturally and linguistically appropriate patient navigation assistance in the form of transportation; care reminders, follow-up and coaching; and support connections.
Language services (MD/VA)
Provide interpretation for legal, medical, and social service appointments; immigration and court hearings; and document translations.
Immigration services (VA)
include counseling and assistance with application filings. Clients apply for green cards, citizenship, and to bring relatives to the U.S.
Housing assistance (MD/VA)
help clients resolve housing problems and find affordable housing.
Information and referral services (MD/VA)
Provide information about ECDC and mainstream programs/services; and referrals to mainstream private and public service providers.