Written by Kevin Heffernan
Crafter Hours on October 25will benefit all of Jericho Road’s Service Sectors. Let’s take a look at each:
Jericho Road’s Events and Marketing Coordinator Mary Schaefer has provided some additional information on the program. Whether you attend their Crafter Hours program, or make donations to Jericho Road in the future, here’s a program your money benefits:
HOPE REFUGEE DROP-IN CENTER
For many refugees, adjusting to life in the United States is difficult. Language barriers and illiteracy present barriers to seemingly simple tasks like paying bills and interacting with a landlord. Typical American bureaucracy is often very daunting and unfamiliar to refugees and many do not understand how to navigate all the different systems, like social services, public schools, child protective services, unemployment and disability, etc. These systems are difficult to navigate even for native English and fulfilling all the requirements for federal, state, and county systems often require the assistance of seasoned professionals. Without support, refugees face challenges like:
- Having their water, heat, or electricity turned off because they couldn’t read their bills
- Not starting their children in school on time because they didn’t know how to register or enroll them
- Being evicted because they cannot communicate with their landlord to resolve issues
- Dealing with illness or injury because they don’t have access to healthcare, insurance, or have access but don’t understand how to properly take medications/follow their treatment plan
- Not realizing they have access to support programs like SNAP, WIC, Medicaid, Medicare, etc. which can keep them healthier
Hope is strongly focused on providing tools for self-empowerment to refugees who call Buffalo home. Utilizing a participatory development model, clients identify their own needs and Hope helps provide a path to meet those needs. Sometimes this means filling out forms or showing clients how to do it on their own. Case managers handle anything from interpreting a WIC check, paying bills, filling out a job application, traveling to medical appointments, or requesting translation services. Hope’s staff members are culturally diverse caseworkers and interpreters who help connect refugees and immigrants to available resources within the community.
- Hope also has two DOJ accredited representatives who can assist with immigration-related legal applications and renewals (citizenship/naturalization, green card app, work authorizations, travel documents, US asylum cases).
Refugees and immigrants are better served by individuals who have first-hand familiarity with the refugee and immigrant experience. Our caseworkers are culturally diverse and many are former refugees themselves so they are able to speak knowledgably and personally about adjusting to life in the United States. This background helps clients feel comfortable and at home at the Drop-In Center. Our case managers also help clients learn to navigate systems on their own so they become more self-sufficient and confident in their abilities.
- In the last year, Hope:
- Assisted 1,816 clients, which affected a total of 6,366 people (family members)
- Provided 10,209 case management appointments
- Helped apply for SNAP benefits nearly 1,200 times
- Registered 62 children for school
- Provided citizenship legal support (green cards, N-600s, travel docs, etc.) to 318 people
- In the last year, Hope: