JFCS East Bay’s resettlement program serves refugees from around the world, particularly focusing on those who have experienced persecution based on their religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or gender identity. We have extensive expertise in resettling refugees who are vulnerable and fleeing violent and dire circumstances.
JFCS East Bay is currently extremely involved in resettling Afghan refugees who served as translators for U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Because of their cooperation with the United States military, former translators and their families are now being targeted by the Taliban and other fundamentalists. These brave young men are able to obtain Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) in order to bring themselves and their families to safety. Because they arrive having recently been in grave danger, these families are highly traumatized and need intensive, individualized support from our Dari/Farsi-speaking case managers and psychologist to start their new lives in our community.
Our resettlement team includes Farsi, Dari, Arabic, Bosnian, and Russian speakers who were themselves refugees or immigrants. We are currently resettling Afghans, Iranians, Iraqis, and people from African countries and the former Soviet Union.
JFCS East Bay is also the lead organization in the United States resettling LGBT individuals persecuted for their sexual orientation or gender identity. These refugees come mostly from Africa, the Middle East, and the former Soviet Union.
Our resettlement program features comprehensive case management, including:
- pre-migration documentation and assistance
- assisting with finding initial housing
- in-depth and ongoing cultural orientation
- accessing medical and mental health services
- enrolling clients in ESL classes and vocational support
- enrolling children in schools
- linking clients with appropriate local resources
- matching clients with volunteers and tutors
- managing crises or family upheaval
An important component of helping refugees settle into a new country is providing social support, which prevents isolation and encourages community building. In addition to our case management services, JFCS East Bay also provides a range of social gatherings and programs for the populations we serve, including:
- Linking Russian and Afghan seniors to adult day health programs in their own languages.
- Facilitating annual celebrations for both American and home-country holidays, including Victory Day, Ramadan, Mother’s Day, Chanukah, and Passover.
- Producing a monthly Russian-language newspaper.
- Holding community potlucks.