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CHARLOTTE-MECKLENBURG WORK WITH IMMIGRANTS AND REFUGEES:
ORGANIZATIONS & RESOURCES

 

 

If you have a heart for work with people who are new to the US, you'll find the list below a helpful resource. It mentions numerous organizations doing good work along with particular needs and the person or people you should reach out to in order to get involved. If you're already involved, you may find the list of area resources helpful.

 

 

LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS WITH A PRIMARY FOCUS WORKING
WITH IMMIGRANTS AND REFUGEES

 

 

CAMINO HEALTH CENTER

Maria Laura Monachesi | Social Navigation Manager/Integrated HealthCare Manager 

marialaura@camino.orgcaminohealthcenter.com

 

A bilingual and multicultural health center that provides excellent and affordable integrated care to the underinsured and uninsured populations. Our mission is to equip people to live truly healthy lives. We live out our mission each day by focusing on the whole person and by offering a holistic approach to healthcare. It’s through our four service areas of Primary Care , Behavioral Health, Health and Wellness, and Food Security, that we empower community members to enhance their physical and mental health.

 

Concord Campus: 2308 Kannapolis Hwy, Concord, NC 28027

Our hours may vary please give us a call at 980.781.4794 for more information.

 

 

CAROLINA MIGRANT NETWORK / COMUNIDAD COLECTIVA

 

Daniela Andrade (she/ her/ ella) | Community Support Coordinator daniela@comunidadcolectiva.org

 

Comunidad Colectiva is a grassroots organization in Charlotte, NC focused on organizing around the rights and needs of the immigrant community. We provide resources such as monthly vaccination/ health events for community members, referrals and collaborate with Church World Service in the Immigrant Solidarity Funds (ISF). The ISF provides financial assistance to families in the immigrant community who have been directly impacted by covid in the Charlotte area.

 

Our sister organization Carolina Migrant Network is the only organization in the Carolinas that provides free legal representation for people detained and representation on bond cases.

CAROLINA REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT AGENCY

 

CRRA provides resettlement services to refugees and asylees who are escaping violence, persecution, and repression.

At CRRA we embrace refugees who arrive in Charlotte, recognizing their troubling experiences, trying to ease their transition into a new country, and respecting their need to remember where they came from.

CRRA’s infrastructure allows us to settle refugees of all nationalities and religions. Refugees are arriving from Myanmar, Congo, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Syria, and Central America – as well as others.

The agency, working through HIAS and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, receives a Reception & Placement federal grant distributed through the U.S. Department of State. This grant covers basic services for refugees during their initial 90 day period of resettlement.

During this initial 90 day resettlement period, CRRA obtains and furnishes apartments and stocks them with food so that once the caseworker meets the newly arriving refugee at the Charlotte airport, they have a home. 

New arrivals receive help registering their children for school, enrolling in benefits, obtaining Social Security cards and are able to attend classes for English as a Second Language (ESL).  Our employment counselors endeavor to find them work and guide each arrival toward self-sufficiency.

Additional grants provide extended medical case management, employment services, financial literacy, a savings program and cultural orientation classes. CRRA also connects refugees and asylees to other service agencies in the Charlotte area.

 

Office: 704.535.8803
Fax: 704.535.8806
Email: info@carolinarefugee.org

http://carolinarefugee.org

CHARLOTTE BILINGUAL PRESCHOOL 

 

Charlotte Bilingual Preschool (CltBP) prepares Spanish-speaking children for success in school and life by providing superior dual language, multi-cultural early childhood education.

https://bilingualpreschool.org

CHILDREN OF THE WORLD LEARNING CENTER

 

Maria Cardarelli | Program Director | 704-536-9157

maria@childrenoftheworldlearningcenter.org

 

Bilingual, intercultural pre-school in Charlotte. A real model of how we can come together and grow together.

 

 

 

 

 

COMPASSION CLOSET

 

Becky Schisler | culturalcompassion@gmail.com

 

Compassion Closet is a program of The Coalition for Cultural Compassion that provides, at no cost, clothing, shoes, and small household items to families in need throughout the Charlotte region. While this service is open to all, over 95% of our clients are part of the Latinx community of immigrants and refugees. We are committed to listening to the voices of our clients and adapting our services to meet their biggest needs. Because we are a very small nonprofit, we are always in need of volunteers.

 

Need: Right now we especially need more volunteers willing to donate 1-2 hours per month as delivery drivers, either taking orders directly to clients or picking up donations in Charlotte and bringing them to our Concord based storage unit. If interested, please email Becky Schisler at culturalcompassion@gmail.com

 

 

CHURCH WORLD SERVICE CHARLOTTE OFFICE FOR UNACCOMPANIED CHILDREN

Gricelda De La Cruz | gdelacruz@cwsglobal.org

 

CWS Charlotte is the third office in North Carolina supporting our Refugee and Immigrant community. Each year children seek refuge in the United States. Most are fleeing threats and violence in El Salvador, Guatemala or Honduras. Children who arrive at the border without their parent or legal guardian are placed in the care of the Office of Refugee Resettlement at shelters or long-term foster care facilities across the nation. Through our Home Study and Post Release Services program, CWS Charlotte works with children and their sponsors once they have been reunified with their loved ones in the Charlotte region.

 

We provide Home study and post release study service. If they are in the shelter and are identified with a particular risk in a home we have someone who evaluates the home. We also assist when children are reunified with loved ones to provide support services. We help with medical care and ensure that they are safe.

 

We are a new office, set up this year. There are 1085 kids total who have left their care and are identified as in need of supportive care. 209 in Charlotte.

HARRIS YMCA

Ana Butters | ana.butters@ymcacharlotte.org

Community Development Director | 704-716-6827

 

At the Harris YMCA, we are working with and not for our community. With the support of our community partners and collaborators, we are serving from within and side-by-side with our Harris YMCA community through various programs and initiatives. We focus in working with Hispanic immigrant families living in Charlotte’s South Blvd corridor. At this time, we offer the following programs to our community:

 

ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE

The English as a Second Language (ESL) program, established and co-funded by Forest Hill Church and the Harris YMCA, integrates the diverse Charlotte community through English language classes and cultural enrichment in hopes of contributing to the community’s upward mobility. Our ESL program serves an average of 170 students per session, in three sessions each year. We provide classes at four different levels, as well as tutoring and conversation groups run by volunteers.

 

COMMUNITY WORKSHOP SERIES

In partnership with Forest Hill Church, we facilitate eight workshops per year delivered in Spanish, in matters of interest to our Latino community. We invite professionals from various local organizations to present about topics in the areas of health, education, immigration, parenting, housing, finances, digital literacy, and more.

 

PARENTS AS TEACHERS

Through the PAT home visiting program, we consistently serve 25 Hispanic families with children 0-5 years old living in the South Blvd corridor. Our Harris Y Parent Educator supports our 25 families with parenting education classes, health and developmental assessments and referrals, and with regular assistance and support in times of crisis.

 

 

IMMIGRANT SOLIDARITY FUND

 

The NC-Immigrant Solidarity Fund (NC-ISF) is a statewide, grassroots effort to support undocumented and mixed status families facing financial hardship due to a recent ICE detention & deportation, emergency, or natural disaster. Funds are currently exhausted so please consider donating.

 

German Munoz | gmunoz@cwsglobal.org

We have created the greater Charlotte area Immigrant Solidarity Fund. Can help legal expenses, ICE bonds, and more. We understand that our clients have difficulty accessing resources so we are working to help with that. Specifically for Mecklenburg, Union and Cabarrus undocumented immigrants.

 

 

INTERNATIONAL HOUSE

 

Lauren Rogers | Volunteer and Outreach Manager | 704-333-8099 ext. 110

www.ihclt.org

 

  • International House provides free ESL classes and tutoring for adults, as well as afterschool tutoring for ESL youth. Potential students can register for classes or request a 1:1 tutor online through our website.

  • Our immigration clinic can help with green card applications and renewals, work permits, and citizenship applications.

  • Our Legal Clinic is currently at capacity, but will reopen for new immigration cases after Labor Day.

  • Our client services department will soon be staffed with Masters of Social Work interns to provide community navigator consultations to clients and students, beginning in September. International House is also going to be a mobile health unit site from 10AM-3PM on the 2nd and 4th Thursday each month for the next 3 months. They will be here providing free health screenings and community referrals for uninsured community members. (See email attachment).

     

LATIN AMERICAN COALITION

Alba Sanchez | Immigrant Welcoming Center Manager |

asanchez@mylac.org | 704-941-2558

 

As you probably know by now, we are having an increase of many newcomers’ families. We have seen 1500 new families in the last three months reaching out to LAC mostly from Colombia, Cuba and Venezuela.

 

Needs: rental assistance, jobs, financial contributions, mattresses, baby formula, school supplies, uniforms, hygiene products, furniture, transportation, mental health and more.

Goal: networking and connecting with additional resources such as food/shelter /facilities, Churches, clothing donations/ low-cost clinics services outside Mecklenburg County.

Help is specially needed in: counties like Cabarrus, Union, Iredell, Rowan, and surrounding counties.

Drop out place: Hickory Grove or you can bring to LAC directly.

We can connect you directly to the family as well.

Click here to access the go fund me link.

 

 

LEGAL AID OF NC's BATTERED IMMIGRANT PROJECT

 

Anna M. Cushman | AnnaC2@legalaidnc.org

 

Legal Aid of NC is a non-profit law firm whose Battered Immigrant Project represents immigrant survivors of DV/SA/HT across NC with their immigration matters. Our work is provided on a pro bono basis to low income survivors statewide. BIP has staff in the Charlotte office of Legal Aid of NC located at 5525 Albemarle Road and operates a helpline on Tuesdays (3:30p-7:30p) and Thursdays (9:00a-1:00p) at 1-866-204-7612.

 

If you are working with an immigrant who has experienced domestic violence, sexual assault, or human trafficking, the group may be able to help them get their immigration status settled to provide some degree of personal stability.

 

 

MIS AMIGOS PROJECT

Marsha Kelly | marshakelly2003@yahoo.com

 

The Mis Amigos Project [M.A.P.] began in 2019 as a rapid-response humanitarian service outreach to asylum seekers recently released from detention centers in Texas. At this point the group was identified as the Migrant Assistance Project. We provided food, clothing and supplies to Central American migrants traveling by bus through Charlotte from the Mexican border to family or friends along the East Coast. With the closing of the border through the Migrant Protection Protocols, the Greyhound greeting program shut down, but then with the onset of Covid-19, M.A.P. quickly began a rapid response effort via a hotline to refer families to Loaves and Fishes food pantries and to supply other needed information and supplies. We now have a database of over 400 families, many of whom continue to request food as well as diapers, clothing, and other essentials.

 

NEEDS:

  • A current vital need is for diapers. We have been struggling to try to provide them to those on our current list as well as for some of their friends and relatives who have found about us and requested them. We closed our waiting list recently due to the high demand. We have been collaborating with Compassion Closet for quite some time, since we serve many of the same families. And we hope to get confirmation that Compassion Closet will become a Diaper Bank partner in the near future. This will not provide adequate coverage for the families we currently help, so we continue to look for funds for diapers.

  • Also, interestingly, with the increased numbers of migrants now traveling through Charlotte again, teams are again meeting buses to offer food, supplies, and a warm welcome. There is a need for donations to keep the current teams supplied and for non-perishable food bags and toiletry kits.

M.A.P. is organized within a private Facebook group which has over 1400 members. The page is a place where requests are made, donations are offered up, and information is shared, all focused on the Spanish-speaking community of migrants and immigrants in Charlotte. We welcome posts that fit within this framework.

 

 

OUR BRIDGE

 

Sandra B. Kitembo | sandra@joinourbridge.org

 

ourBRIDGE for KIDS is a nonprofit organization that supports the immigrant and refugee community in Charlotte, NC by providing an out of school program and through community-based initiatives. ourBRIDGE is expanding to a second site off Nations Ford this school year. The site will house a new K-5 program for 75 English Language Learners primarily from Montclaire and Starmount elementary schools. In the coming month, we'll be working on beautifying the space and are looking for volunteers to support us with this effort.

 

At the beginning of this year, Refugee Support Services and ourBRIDGE started sharing space on the Aldersgate campus, where we rent the building for $1 a year. For over ten years, ourBRIDGE and RSS have worked together on numerous advocacy projects to raise awareness and facilitate accessibility to resources for newly-arrived families. The move into the shared space is an opportunity for both to uphold each others’ core values, missions, growth, and impact as well as share common resources.

 

Needs: We are collecting school supplies and school uniforms for BRIDGE kids. We're accepting backpacks, scissors, glue sticks, crayons, colored pencils, markers, erasers, highlighters, pencils, sharpeners, pocket folders, and pencil pouches. We're accepting school uniforms in XS-XL kids sizes and ask that khaki pants, shorts, skirts, and light blue or white polo shirts be donated. Drop off location: all donations can be dropped off at 3925 Willard Farrow Drive, Charlotte, NC 28215 M-F from 9am - 4 pm.

 

Please contact volunteering@joinourbridge.org if you're interested in supporting us with our beautification efforts, donating supplies, or if you'd like to learn more about getting involved.

 

 

PROJECT 658

Mark Landon | Family Advocate mlandon@project658.com | 980-224-0580
 

Project 658 exists to help Charlotte families move towards self-sustainability through holistic helps and programming. We are primarily focused on the international community but want to share love and encouragement with all of our neighbors. For more details visit our website www.project658.com

 

REFUGEE SUPPORT SERVICES

 

The mission of Refuge Support Services is to facilitate programs and intercultural relationships that promote individual autonomy, cultivate social capital, and enrich our community. RSS operates a Help Center consisting of five core components: the Artisan and Workforce Development Programs, the Mentor Programs, the Youth Education Programs, the Food & Community Information Programs, and the Help Desk Programs. Services provided are unique to our community of impact and designed to assist with essential skills and support as we all work together to build a more welcoming Charlotte. Anyone interested in volunteering or donating can connect by email at info@refugeesupportservices.org or connect through our Helpline at 980.263.9334.

With the expiration of Title 42, there has been a lot of media coverage and conversation around the topic of asylum in USA.

 

Here at RSS, one of our pillars has always been dedication to facilitating access to good information for everyone who is connected to us in community. There is so much information floating around and much of it is partial, political, or inaccurate. Knowing the facts is an important part of the toolkit that we all need to help build a Charlotte that is more welcoming, especially as people continue to arrive here looking for answers and support.

Questions and Answers on Asylum in the USA

Question: What is Title 42 and why is it ending?

 

Title 42 is actually an entire section of U.S. legislation that has to do with public health.

 

When people talk about it today, they are talking about an emergency rule that was enacted by the Trump administration early in the COVID-19 pandemic. The rule in practice essentially removed the right to declare asylum for most who were attempting to claim it. The policy was enacted in March 2020 and has allowed the federal government to expel over 2.8 million people who crossed the U.S. border with Mexico and were not allowed to claim asylum.

 

The rule expired at midnight on Thursday in conjunction with the expiration of the federal COVID-19 public health emergency declaration.

  

Question: Why is the expiration of the rule under Title 42 important?

 

The expiration of this rule returns the country to pre-COVID public health rules, which means that the right to claim asylum should be restored for millions who have been denied access since 2020.

 

However, in advance of expiration, the Biden administration announced a new policy which blocks migrants from seeking asylum if they pass through a country that offers asylum before reaching the United States. It will require that these individuals apply for asylum in those countries first before they will be allowed to apply for asylum in the U.S., effectively keeping in place restricted rights to claim asylum.

  

Question: What is asylum in the USA?

 

The right to asylum is cemented into international and federal law.

 

The right to asylum has been around since Ancient Greece. It was passed into modern international law in 1948 in the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights. It was further strengthened in the 1951 UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 UN Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees.

 

In 1980, the United States adopted the right to asylum into our own federal law with the passage of the Refugee Act of 1980.

 

As party to the 1951 UN Convention, the 1967 UN Protocol, and our own federal laws since 1980, the USA is obliged to recognize valid claims to asylum.

  

Question: What is the difference between an asylum seeker, an asylee, and a refugee in the United States?

 

An asylum seeker is someone who has arrived in the USA and has made a formal claim for asylum.

 

An asylee is someone who has been granted asylum based on a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.

 

A refugee is someone who has been granted refugee status outside of the United States based on well-founded fear of persecution for the same reasons as asylees and is then resettled here through the federal refugee resettlement program.

 

There is no difference between a refugee and an asylee in the United States other than the location that they have made their claim to protection. Both refugees and asylees qualify for assistance and support through the federal refugee resettlement program.

  

Question: Who can seek support through RSS as program participants?

 

RSS is the only post-resettlement agency in greater Charlotte area.

 

As established in our organizational bylaws and additional policy updates, RSS is able to directly support refugees, former refugees, asylum seekers, asylees, special immigrant visa holders, humanitarian parolees, and their respective families as program participants. To date this year, RSS has directly supported 560 enrolled program participants and their families through community navigation support, food access assistance, language access resources, workforce development, mentorship programming, preschool and youth educational support, and community events.

Question: Which organizations in the City of Charlotte are working with asylum-seekers, asylees, and refugees? How can I help?

 

Know that you are already helping by doing the work to educate yourself on forced migration. If you are interested in learning even more, please click here to connect with us for more information on attending or scheduling a future Refugee 101 educational session.

 

Many of the organizations in Charlotte doing this work are not huge and would most benefit from financial support of any size. You can find a list of RSS and some of our partner agencies below who support these groups directly and links of where to donate:

 

 

 

ST. JOHN'S IMMIGRANT & REFUGEE MINISTRY GROUP -- STUDY GUIDE "A JOURNEY TO UNDERSTANDING OUR IMMIGRANT NEIGHBORS"

 

Beverly Hester | beverlyrhester@earthlink.net

Wanny Hogewood | bwwh4062@gmail.com

 

The St. John’s Immigrant and Refugee Ministry Group was begun 3 years ago. We decided early on that we would focus first on congregational education. We have pursued that in several ways. One was to invite Karen Gonzalez, author of The God Who Sees, to speak at our church during the first weekend in May 2022. Another has been to develop, through a year-long process, a 4-session study guide titled “A Journey to Understanding Our Immigrant Neighbors” that can be used by groups in the church and community. We have also established relationships with three community organizations that serve immigrants and refugees. We publicize to our congregation opportunities to assist these organizations through donations and volunteer service.

 

The Study Guide may be ordered electronically from MeckMIN (see below)

 

 

OR

 

By emailing St John’s Baptist Church amorrisonsjcharlotte.org and requesting a copy. These are free!!

THE NEW AMERICAN WELCOME CENTER AT THE UNIVERSITY YMCA 

The New American Welcome Center at the University Y works to make our community a place where all immigrants can thrive and flourish. We do this by engaging local institutions and mobilizing community resources to ensure equitable access to services, economic opportunity, and meaningful belonging.

https://universityymca.org/welcome/

 

 

UNIVERSAL INSTITUTE FOR SUCCESSFUL AGING OF CAROLINAS (UISAC)

 

uisac.nc@gmail.com

We serve as a Resettlement agency for Refugees, immigrants and minorities (RIM) community at a very grassroots level making them feel that we are their extended family where they can reach out for any crisis or needs to bridge or learn how to access resources to become successful in a dignified approach with respect. In areas like Health, Finance, Education, Home, business and social legal needs to have a normal simple life as New Americans. We are fortunate to connect and bridge with all partners of Meck-Min serving in Charlotte city and Mecklenburg County NC USA, it would be nice of you to visit us on UISAC.org.

 

 

RESOURCES FOR FINDING SERVICES FOR IMMIGRANTS AND REFUGEES: (FOOD, CLOTHING, HOUSING, & FURNITURE)

Searchable sources for resources:

Atrium Community Resource Hub

This website lists multiple places that might be able to help – enter your zip code and it lists multiple sources of help in different categories:

 

Families Forward CLT:

This is a great resource page and it is organized by the need (housing, food, clothing, etc) which makes it much easier to navigate. Check them out here.

 

Mecklenburg County Public Health Community Resources Guide, 2017

A comprehensive guide to multiple community resources published by the county.

 

Novant Health My Community

Helps identify thousands of resources across the nation using your zip code.

MyCommunity | Novant Health RECURSOS

Other resources:

 

A Tu Lado

A Tu Lado (By Your Side) is an interfaith volunteer organization supporting immigrants by connecting them with faith communities for partnerships of accompaniment and mutual understanding. We work mostly with asylum seekers and in some cases with other undocumented immigrants. We guide faith community members as they walk with their newly arrived partner families through their court process, assist with daily practical needs, and offer inclusion and friendship. We welcome inquiries from faith communities of every religion and from other immigrant support organizations and attorneys who work with clients who might benefit from this type of partnership.

 

Joyce Deaton

deaton1@att.net or atuladoclt@gmail.com | 704 576-8696

Facebook page: Charlotte A Tu Lado

 

See attached Guide to Community Resources created by A Tu Lado.

Catholic Charities Charlotte

704.370.3262

Catholic Charities helps anyone in need, regardless of their faith affiliation. Excellent on-line resource guide (Created specifically for refugees and immigrants but many resources are applicable to all.)

 

 

 

 

 

Communidad Colectiva

See attached Guide to Community Resources created by Comunidad Colectiva

 

 

 

 

FOOD RESOURCES

 

Loaves & Fishes/Friendship Trays

Lindsey Houser | Community Engagement Coordinator | lindsey@loavesandfishes.org | 704-343-5031 

648 Griffith Road, Suite B, Charlotte, NC 28217 | www.loavesandfishes.org  | www.friendshiptrays.org  

We do not require any documentation or ID, just a date of birth. They can call us to get a referral if they are not working with an agency. I have access to CHOICE and we have 2 bilingual Latino interpreters. We can help!

 

Plus see attached FILES of food resources.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CLOTHING RESOURCES

 

The Coalition for Cultural Compassion

 

Plus see attached list

 

 

 

HOUSING RESOURCES

 

 

 

 

 

 

FURNITURE RESOURCES

 

Beds for Kids

https://bedsforkids.org

 

Crisis Assistance Free Store

https://www.crisisassistance.org/programs/basic-needs/free-store/

 

Home2Home

Earl Coggins, with Home2Home ministry of Matthews Methodist Church

encoggins@att.net

 

 

 

RESOURCES OUTSIDE MECKLENBURG COUNTY

CAMINO HEALTH CENTER has a site in Cabarrus County

Call 980-781-4794 for more information

 

GATEWAY GASTON

 

Dwayne Burks | dwayne@gatewaygaston.org

https://gatewaygaston.org Text GATEWAY at 704 800 3836

Good resource for local groups seeing people relocate to Gaston County:

 

Our gateway portal is a bit of a clearinghouse for connection. We saw the frustration with the fragmented system so we started the gateway. When someone contacts us on the website we connect them, 7 days a week 8-8. Gaston County only. We can talk with you about building a gateway in your community. There is a link to something called “journey home” that will show you the situation in Gaston.

 

WOULD YOUR GROUP LIKE TO BE ADDED TO THIS LIST? 

If you are part of a group or project WITH A PRIMARY FOCUS WITH IMMIGRANTS, REFUGEES, OR ASYLEES and would like to be added to this list, send to meckmin@meckmin.org and please use the subject line: Please add to list of organizations working with immigrants and refugees.

  • The name of the organization and/or project

  • name and contact information for at least one key contact

  • website or webpage

  • a brief paragraph describing the work

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