U.S COMMITTEE FOR REFUGEES AND IMMIGRANTS
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USCRI Detroit Winter 2023 Update

By USCRI December 19, 2023

The team at USCRI Detroit has been busy this winter providing meals and gifts to our newcomer families, attending conferences and community workshops, and entering into a new program aimed to treat combat-related trauma in our Afghan clients.

As temperatures in Michigan continue to fall, USCRI Detroit’s commitment to providing essential service to every client we serve stays strong.

Here is some of what USCRI Detroit has been up to recently:

 

Welcoming New Arrivals

During the first quarter of FY24, our office welcomed 127 refugees to the Detroit area. The majority of new arrivals this year have been from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. The Matching Grant (MG) Program enrolled 55 clients in just the last three months of 2023.

 

Building Partnerships

The Director of USCRI Detroit, Tawfik Alazem, participated in The Office of Global Michigan’s ‘Aligning Partnerships to make Michigan Welcoming and Inclusive’, the third and final convening in the Refugee Resettlement Improvement Planning Sessions series.

The objectives of the conference were to discuss feedback from previous convenings, to understand Global Michigan’s strategic plan, and to align priorities and partnerships.

 

 

Giving Thanks

USCRI Detroit celebrated this year’s Thanksgiving by welcoming 15 newly arrived families of 76 individuals with thanksgiving baskets, turkeys, and grocery bags.

All food provided to clients for their first Thanksgiving holiday in their new homes was culturally appropriate and fresh from local supermarkets.

 

Driving Resources Fair

One of the major challenges facing new arrivals in Detroit is transportation. To help alleviate this issue, USCRI Detroit case managers Hameed Ahmadzai and Salah Tarabah represented USCRI Detroit at the ‘Workgroup Driving Resources Fair’, hosted by the Southeast Michigan Immigrant and Refugee Collaborative (SEMIRC).

Roughly 50 attendees joined to learn from the Department of Insurance and Financial Services, Department of State, and First Merchants Bank about getting a driver’s licenses, purchasing a vehicle, and navigating the auto-insurance process.

USCRI Detroit reserved a table at the event to hand out winter scarves and provide informational booklets on USCRI’s mission, local healthcare resources, and linguistically appropriate driving instructions.

 

Afghan Women Connect Program

USCRI Detroit’s Afghan Women Empowerment Program continues to offer an assortment of critical services and Direct Refugee Assistance (DRA) to our newcomer clients from Afghanistan.

These services include specialized English as Second Language (ESL) and financial literacy classes to equip our Afghan clients with essential tools towards self-sufficiency. USCRI Detroit also assists with paying the cost of ‘drivers training’ classes and in getting our clients their US drivers licenses.

Through this program, USCRI Detroit has provided our Afghan clients with winter clothing for the chilly Michigan winter, chrome book laptops to ensure they have internet access, and Uber gift cards to address their transportation needs.

 

New SASIC Program

USCRI Detroit is proud to highlight the ‘Services to Afghan Survivors Impacted by Combat’ (SASIC) program. This recently developed program embodies our dedication to providing comprehensive support to Afghan arrivals in the U.S.

The SASIC program Focuses on healing combat-related trauma to Afghan newcomers and offers holistic, culturally sensitive services, which ranges from medical to psychological care. Our unwavering commitment through this program exemplifies USCRI’s ongoing efforts to foster resilience and well-being among those we serve.

 

Season of Giving

This winter, USCRI Detroit provided rental assistance to a Ukrainian family under the Preferred Communities, (PC) GAPS Program. The newcomer family made frequent visits to the Dearborn field office to sign paperwork and meet with staff, always accompanied by their young daughter.

On one such occasion, USCRI Detroit team members took the opportunity to brighten up their daughter’s day with a gift of toys. After posing for a photo, their daughter walked out with a huge smile on her face and some toys to play with in her new home. A warm welcome to Southeast Michigan.

 

 

 

 

We are extremely grateful to all the donors, volunteers, and supporters of USCRI Detroit. With your support, we are able to continue to offer essential services to displaced people and welcome them into the Southeast Michigan community.

We hope you all enjoy this holiday season and the rest of winter!

Stay tuned to learn more about what’s happening at USCRI Detroit and beyond.

 

Refugees.org/give


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