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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



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.



CHILDREN OF THE WORLD LEARNING CENTER


Maria Cardarelli | Program Director | 704-536-9157


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




COMPASSION CLOSET



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


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

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.


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


  • 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


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



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.



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



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!!

Immigration Study Guide April 2022
.pdf
Download PDF • 3.39MB


UNIVERSAL INSTITUTE FOR SUCCESSFUL AGING OF CAROLINAS (UISAC)


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:



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:


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.



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

Facebook page: Charlotte A Tu Lado

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

Guide to Community Resources 1_21 (1)
.docx
Download DOCX • 39KB

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.)


See attached Guide to Community Resources created by Comunidad Colectiva


Comunidad Colectiva (ESP) Organizaciones Sin Fines de
.pdf
Download PDF • 287KB

Comunidad Colectiva (ENG) Referral List CC- updated 1_10_22
.pdf
Download PDF • 284KB


FOOD RESOURCES


Lindsey Houser | Community Engagement Coordinator

(704) 343-5031 | lindsey@loavesandfishes.org

648 Griffith Road, Suite B Charlotte, NC 28217


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.


Food Pantries Referral Required
.pdf
Download PDF • 60KB

Food Pantries Self Referral
.pdf
Download PDF • 93KB

Soup Kitchens
.pdf
Download PDF • 64KB




CLOTHING RESOURCES



Plus see attached list


Clothing _ Families Forward Charlotte
.pdf
Download PDF • 70KB


HOUSING RESOURCES



Housing Crisis Resources
.docx
Download DOCX • 23KB


FURNITURE RESOURCES


Beds for Kids


Crisis Assistance Free Store


Home2Home

Earl Coggins, with Home2Home ministry of Matthews Methodist Church



 

RESOURCES OUTSIDE MECKLENBURG COUNTY



GATEWAY GASTON


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.



 

If you are part of a group or project WITH A PRIMARY FOCUS WITH IMMIGRANTS AND REFUGEES 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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