Refugee families and survivors of human trafficking will be disproportionately affected by COVID-19's impacts on our community. Help IRC ensure our clients have the resources and services they need to get through this trying time.
> Supporting people at higher risk for COVID-19
One of our first priorities is ensuring people at higher risk for the illness have the information and resources they need to stay healthy. IRC case managers are providing individualized outreach to all clients, so they understand COVID-19, how to contact their doctor, and how to keep their families safe. We are also creating health & hygiene kits for families at higher risk, as well as stocking up our emergency food pantry. Our Amazon wish list (link coming soon!) will allow you to deliver high-need items directly to IRC. Financial contributions allow IRC to purchase food and other essential items needed most by high-risk clients.
> Helping families impacted by layoffs, hiring freezes, and leaves of absence
Many IRC clients work in industries being hit hardest by COVID-19, including hospitality, food service, airports/airlines, and others. Many IRC clients have already been laid off and refugees who have just arrived in the U.S. do not have access to much-needed jobs due to hiring freezes. Newcomers do not qualify for unemployment benefits or other COVID-19 employment-related benefits because they have not yet worked in the U.S. long enough. This means many families will need extra support with rent, utilities, and other basic needs until hiring freezes are lifted.
> Making up for reduced access to essential services
IRC clients will be disproportionately impacted as essential services are suspended or moved online. When services can only be accessed online, for example, they become more difficult for people who don't own computers or do not speak English to access. When schools and daycare centers close, IRC clients often do not have other options for childcare and may be put in a position of missing work to care for their children. There will be many cascading impacts of this outbreak over the weeks and months to come, which will result in our clients needing increased help from IRC.
This emergency fund will be used by the IRC in Seattle to support individuals, families, and communities impacted by COVID-19 in Washington State. All contributions are tax-deductible. Thank you for your support!
The International Rescue Committee (IRC) helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their future. Since 1976, the IRC in Seattle has helped thousands of refugees, immigrants, and survivors of all forms of human trafficking in Washington State. Through our person-centered programs, the IRC improves the health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power of the individuals and communities we serve. Learn more about our work at Rescue.org/Seattle
Photo of IRC senior program participants by Gillian Peckham