Our comprehensive Approach
Our goal is to work to ensure a smooth and comfortable transition to life in the United States. Our organization has researched and developed a multi-pronged approach to ensure that the needs of refugees are met to the best of our capability. While refugees will always have a home with the Chicago Refugee Coalition, our aim is to assist in full and total resettlement within one calendar year of arrival in the United States.
English as a second language (ESL)
As the working language of the United States, mastery of the English language is critical to successful assimilation into modern American society. Therefore, the Chicago Refugee Coalition offers a comprehensive eight moth English as a Second Language (ESL) program free of charge. This course is designed to establish a baseline understanding of the English language and work to progress in understanding
Once every two weeks, employment coaching sessions are hosted by business leaders at the Chicago Refugee Coalition. These sessions include resume workshops, mock-interviews, and guidance on professional etiquette. We believe in the talent refugees offer the Chicagoland community and it is our mission to afford every opportunity for high-quality, dignified, employment.
Cultural Acclimation Program (CAP)
Adjusting to life in the United States is no easy task. In addition to through instruction in English, we also believe in providing comprehensive cultural training covering a wide breath of civil subjects including: American Politics, Women's Rights, LGBTQ+ Rights, Religious Tolerance/Freedoms, Popular Culture, Social Etiquette, Cross-Cultural Exchanges, and Social Justice/Empowerment. This course is conducted over eight one month modules and is free of charge.
Citizenship Examination Assistance
This intensive eight week, free of charge, examination prep class is designed as a capstone to the Cultural Acclimation Program (CAP). This course meets twice a week to review exam materials, preform mock exams, and aid in final preparations (including immigration counsel) to become a United States Citizen.
Mental health assistance
War, trauma, famine, and violence are scaring experiences. The Chicago Refugee Coalition understands many refugees come to the United States with limited resources at their disposal. Despite this, mental health needs are still a pressing matter and require immediate care and attention. We are pleased to have a dedicated mental health fund to assist refugees and community members in receiving high quality mental health assistance free of charge.
Ensuring safe, clean, and equitable access to affordable housing is the cornerstone of successful resettlement. In order to meet this aim, the Chicago Refugee Coalition has created a rental assistance fund, and partnered with local landlords, in order to assist newly resettled refugees in accessing modest, clean, safe, and affordable housing in the Chicagoland area.
Taxes, cash, credit, balancing a checkbook, IRAs, loans, mortgages, investments and much more. Understanding and navigating the financial avenues of the United States is far different than conflict zones and refugee camps. We believe in equipping refugees, and community members, with high quality instruction to judicially manage their financial resources to achieve their goals.
General Education Diploma (GED) Prep
Education is critical to securing employment and fostering upward mobility. In some cases, refugees come to the United States having been denied access to equitable education in their home countries. We believe that a life in the United States is a new opportunity for hope, independence, and growth. Through education, we believe that anyone can achieve their fullest potential. Classes are offered free of charge and it is a three month course.
At present, nearly one-in-five of all Americans are at risk of being food insecure. For newly resettled refugees, that risk is nearly double. We firmly believe in promoting food security in the Chicagoland are for refugees and the community at large. We are presently partnered with Imperfect Produce and conduct a weekly food distribution in order to combat food insecurity. For more information, please contact us.
We are proud to be the only refugee resettlement service in the Chicagoland area to support the unique needs of the LGBTQ+ refugee community both in the United States and abroad. We are dedicated to the mission of fostering a safe space for the expression of ones personal identity and we are working to dispel social bias through seminars and educational sessions. Additionally, one of our primary research emphasizes is an LGBTQ+ rights watch in both Chechnya and Uganda.