This past Sunday, JF&CS was recognized by the Somali Bantu Community Association of Pittsburgh for helping their community through our refugee and immigration departments. Aweys Mwaliya, president of the Somali Bantu Communication Association of Pittsburgh, presented Leslie Aizenman, JF&CS director of refugee and immigrant services, with a Certificate of Appreciation for JF&CS’s invaluable assistance with case management, employment and immigration services at the community’s cultural celebration.
JF&CS is the leading agency in providing a wide range of resettlement, social, legal and employment services to thousands of refugees and immigrants throughout the region. JF&CS refugee services staff work to resettle refugees directly from overseas, providing for their basic needs and integration into our community and workforce, as well as providing support to refugees coming to Pittsburgh who had been resettled originally in other U.S. cities. Our staff ensures that families receive the most basic needs of food and shelter, and then continue to offer essential assistance through case management, cultural orientation, employment, legal immigration and additional areas of support.
In our immigration department, our attorneys and accredited representatives provide family-based legal immigration assistance, such as applications or petitions, providing assistance for victims of human trafficking crimes and/or domestic violence, providing representation of unaccompanied minors who are abused, neglected or abandoned-and much more.
The recent recognition of the outstanding work of JF&CS’s refugee and immigration staff is a testament to the quality of services and programs JF&CS provides to the many unique foreign-born populations in Pittsburgh. Thousands of refugees and legal immigrants are thriving throughout the Greater Pittsburgh region because of the tremendous efforts and dedication of our entire staff.
As part of our commitment to providing for our community’s foreign-born, JF&CS is the lead agency of a new effort between 5 other area agencies, Latino Family Center, Casa San Jose, Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council, Northern Area Multi-Service Center and South Hill Interfaith Ministries, with funding from the Allegheny County Department of Human Services, to provide comprehensive service coordination for legal immigrants, refugees and foreign-born individuals. The program, currently called Service Coordination for Immigrants and Refugees (SCIR), will launch later this spring and is based on a needs-assessment conducted by the Allegheny County Department of Human Services, which showed the need for service coordination for immigrants and refugees across the county.
“This new program is a game-changer for people with limited English and/or cultural barriers who have been struggling, and will be a tremendous resource for our community’s foreign-born populations,” Aizenman said. “We’re here to connect the dots and help individuals and families access services, resources and support, which could include helping people access medical care, benefits, employment services, school, English classes, and much more, with the ultimate goal being self-sufficiency.”
SCIR will also employ individuals from the community, called ‘navigators,’ to assist in client communication and help in the field with accompanying clients to appointments and ensuring resources are appropriately accessed.
JF&CS’s services are crucial to ensuring refugees, legal immigrants and foreign-born individuals are fully supported to establish new lives in our community. To volunteer, donate goods or to find more ways you can help support JF&CS’s programs and refugees in our community, please contact Leslie Aizenman at firstname.lastname@example.org or for legal-related immigration services, questions or to volunteer in our immigration-related legal services department, contact Jamie Englert at email@example.com, or call 412-422-7200.