The State Refugee Office works closely with the two Vermont voluntary resettlement agencies, US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) and our newest agency - the Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC) - as well as other area partners (AALV, Age Well, Burlington and Winooski School Districts) to support refugee integration.
These nonprofit voluntary resettlement agencies receive public and private funding and agree to resettle a number of refugees at the start of the fiscal year based on their capacity to provide services for new arrivals and the number of refugees coming into the United States. Additional money is provided to states by the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement to provide self-sufficiency services.
The mission of the State Refugee Office is to promote and provide a safe and welcoming home for refugees and immigrants, and to promote their full participation as self-sufficient individuals and families in the economic, social, and civic life of Vermont. Eligible groups include: Afghan and Iraqi Special Immigrant Visa Holders, Amerasians, Asylees, Cuban/Haitian Entrants, Human Trafficking Victims, Legal Permanent Residents, and Refugees.
The State Refugee Office is part of the Agency of Human Services and works through a network of service providers in Vermont to meet the educational, cultural and linguistic needs of refugees and immigrants. The Vermont Refugee Office is directed by Tracy Dolan.
News & Updates
Update on Afghan Arrivals in Vermont [December 14, 2021]: Afghans (and family members) who assisted the US military and partners were evacuated due to threats in August 2021. Vermont plans to welcome a total of 230 Afghans in Vermont. So far we have welcomed approximately 75, many of whom are placed with host families in Chittenden and Washington County as long term housing is sought. Rutland will likely begin to receive new arrivals in the coming weeks. Some refugees have already begun employment. In Brattleboro, families will begin to arrive and be placed with host families or into long term housing in early January.
How Can I Help?
If you are interested in helping newly arriving refugee families settle into Vermont by volunteering, donating items or donating money, please follow the links below.
In Chittenden County and surrounding areas you can donate to or volunteer with USCRI:
In Brattleboro and surrounding areas you can donate to or volunteer with ECDC and partners:
- Donate (ecdcus.org)
- Interest Form: Brattleboro Community Support for Refugees, Humanitarian Parolees, and Asylum Seekers google.com
Resources for Refugee Service Providers
- Who are Refugees and How Do They Arrive in the United States?
- Switchboard is a technical assistance organization funded by The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) to provide free consultation and training to U.S. resettlement agencies and affiliates, state agencies, community-based organizations, and others. This includes support by phone or email, virtual training, and, where feasible, in-person training. They also maintain a research database to help refugee service providers develop and implement programs based on the best available evidence. They publish periodic evidence summaries that compile relevant research and implications for practice within programs serving refugees and other ORR eligible populations.
- A Round-up of Resources for Serving Afghan Evacuees
- Updated Domestic Health Assesment Form (2021-2022)
- Update I-693 Covid-Vaccine
- Afghan Cultural Quick Reference Guide
English Language Instruction: Resettlement agencies and community partners provide English Language Training. Classes are designed to help refugees achieve competencies in key linguistic areas, preparing them to meet their everyday language needs at work and in community life.
< English Language and Citizenship Classes Fall 2022
<Northeast Kingdom Learning Services: https://neklsvt.org/adult-education-in-vermont/
<Central Vermont Adult Basic Education: https://cvabe.org/english-language/
<The Tutorial Center: https://tutoringvermont.org/full-services-list/#toggle-id-7
<Vermont Adult Learning: https://vtadultlearning.org/services/#english-language-learning-ell
- Refugee Cash Assistance: Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA): Funds are designed to assist refugees during their 8 month, initial resettlement period. All refugees are entitled to Refugee Cash Assistance for their first eight months in the US. To be eligible for RCA, however, a refugee must be ineligible for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF - also called Reach Up in Vermont) and other cash support programs.
- Refugee Medical Assistance: Most refugees are eligbile to apply for Medicaid, in some cases where refugees do not meet Medicaid eligbility, Refugee Medical Assistance is provided.
<Applying for Medicaid and other Health Insurance: To get health insurance from Vermont Health Connect, immigrants must have eligible immigration status. This means they must be in the U.S. legally. This includes refugees, asylees, victims of trafficking and many others. To learn more, please visit https://dvha.vermont.gov/information-for-non-citizens
<Survivors of Torture and Trauma: Connecting Cultures is a program that helps people who have been tortured in another country and are now living in the United States. It is dedicated to providing mental health services to refugees, new Americans, and asylum seekers across the life-span. They serve clients at any point in their re-settlement and/or citizenship process – there is no time limit for receiving services. To learn more or to get a referral for services please visit WHO | ConnectingCultures (connectingculturesvt.org)
- Employment Services: Employment services include an assessment of vocational skills, job development, job placement and follow up services with local employers. Refugees often find full-time employment within the first two or three months of arrival.
< Covid-19 Translations- Here