WHAT WE DO
Today the Ipswich Refugee Program is actively helping several newly arrived immigrant/refugee families get settled in Ipswich. Fleeing crises in their homelands, these families have come to the U.S. with few possessions or resources. Through fundraising and outreach, the IRP is working in cooperation with a local refugee resettlement agency to welcome them into our community and to support their efforts to establish independence and self-sufficiency in a new country and culture.
Newly arrived refugees in Ipswich received basic support, including a monthly allowance, Mass Health, food stamps, and employment services. However, these stipends are temporary and do not cover the entire cost of rent, utilities, transportation, and other essential expenses refugees incur while they are adjusting to life in a new culture, building English language skills, stabilizing health issues, and finding employment.
Recent immigrants to Ipswich are self-supporting, but their situations are often fragile, since they face many of the same challenges that refugees encounter, but with fewer formal support services.
To meet these ongoing needs, the Ipswich Refugee Program coordinates financial and in-kind donations from generous individuals and organizations in our community.
IRP volunteers assist families in a number of ways. We provide transportation to medical, dental, and immigration appointments, as well as to local food pantry and grocery stores. We also help with employment networking, ESL tutoring, navigating bureaucratic requirements, and explaining American cultural practices and customs.
Beyond logistical support, we play a vital role in helping immigrants who have left behind family and friends begin to establish lasting relationships and feel welcomed in their new North Shore community.
WHO WE ARE
Early in 2017, a group of 30-40 people from various Ipswich groups and civic organizations gathered together to seek thoughtful ways to respond to the international refugee crisis by welcoming a refugee family to our community. This group is now organized as a tax exempt, 501c3 non-profit called the Ipswich Refugee Program, Inc. (IRP).
The Ipswich Refugee Program is a community-based organization, that welcomes and supports refugees and immigrants as they integrate into American culture and society.
Our work includes providing support and advocacy for refugee and immigrant families, with specific focus on those families who make Ipswich their home. Through our activities, we strive to educate the community and bring awareness of the needs of refugees and immigrants, in Ipswich and worldwide.