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The U.S. Committee for Refugee and Immigrants (USCRI) is 1 of 9 national resettlement agencies. USCRI North Carolina, based in Raleigh, is 1 of 4 national resettlement agencies represented here in the Triangle—the others include Church World Service, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, and World Relief. With NC, currently, being the 10th largest state for resettlement, USCRI opened a field office in 2007 to support the needs of newly resettled refugees in the state. 

The organization was established in 1911 with a vision “to protect the rights and address the needs of persons in forced or voluntary migration worldwide and support their transition to a dignified life.” In Linda’s presentation, she emphasized the organization’s idea of a “dignified life”, acknowledging that they view the refugees and immigrants they support as independent individuals with the right to make choices for themselves given their circumstances. USCRI aims to support refugees and immigrants with access to affordable housing, medical and mental health support, education, employment, community connections, and more with a model that promotes self-sufficiency in the long run. 

Since 2007, USCRI NC has welcomed refugees from countries including Bhutan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Iraq, Russia, Somalia, Syria, and Ukraine. They have supported refugees through numerous programs ranging from Reception and Replacement (R&P), which encompasses support with housing and basic resources upon the first 3 months of arrival, to Ready4Life, a program for youth ages 14-24 promoting education. Other programs include Matching Grant Program and Refugee Support Services, Special Needs Service, and Home Study and Post Release Service. As the Community Engagement Coordinator, Linda expresses that there are plenty of opportunities within these programs for local volunteers interested in supporting refugees and migrants to get involved through volunteering or internships. These opportunities can be found on their website or through directly reaching out to Linda via email. 

In working with refugees, USCRI prioritizes providing a safety net of support which can last up to 5-years and establishing trust so that refugees are able to know that they are safe in their partnership with the organization. Resettlement is a complex process filled with various moving pieces, and Linda shares that some of the biggest struggles that USCRI has faced in recent years in providing support to refugees and immigrants are affordable housing, transportation, and access to quality mental health services. Despite these challenges, USCRI has been able to support numerous refugees and immigrants in the process of integration, and have even seen success in supporting individuals in attaining university degrees in line with their career of interest. 




Linda is the Community Engagement Coordinator at USCRI North Carolina.