Intensive Community Orientation AmeriCorps Member Lancaster

April 3, 2018

Position Title: Intensive Community Orientation AmeriCorps Member
Member Supervisor: Resettlement Program Coordinator
Team: Refugee AmeriCorps Initiative
Placement Site: Church World Service, Lancaster, PA
Program Benefits:

  • Living Allowance of $20,000 (distributed over 12 months)
  • Segal AmeriCorps Education Award of $5,815, upon successful completion of service
  • Childcare assistance, if applicable
  • Professional Development Opportunities

Work Schedule: The member is expected to work 37.5 hours per week on a 9AM – 5PM schedule and participate in some early morning, evening, holiday and weekend activities related to ICO as needed.


Please visit the link below to apply directly online to this position.

Position Description

CWS, in collaboration with its CWS Lancaster affiliate, seeks an AmeriCorps member to be placed at Lancaster, PA to support and build capacity for intensive community orientation (ICO).

Founded in 1946, CWS is a non-profit and faith-based global humanitarian organization. CWS works in more than 30 countries worldwide to eradicate hunger and poverty, to secure a sustainable future for the displaced and to promote peace and justice. Over the course of its near 70-year history, CWS has assisted 800,000 refugees and parolees to start new lives and integrate into communities across the United States. Through its Immigration and Refugee Program (IRP), CWS assists refugees, asylees, asylum seekers, immigrants throughout the U.S.

CWS provides each adult refugee with cultural orientation (CO) within 90 days of arrival to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes refugees need to adjust and achieve successful integration. AmeriCorps members will focus on at least one of two key topics—housing and/or health—which are pillars of successful resettlement because of their link to refugees’ immediate self-sufficiency and long-term integration.

CWS will engage 11 AmeriCorps members for one year of full-time service (1,700 hours) at 9 local resettlement agencies in Sacramento, CA, Delray Beach, FL, Grand Rapids, MI, Durham, NC, Greensboro, NC, Columbus, OH, Lancaster, PA, Harrisonburg, VA and Richmond, VA. The program supports a resettlement environment that promotes refugee integration by enhancing mutual understanding between refugees and their new U.S. communities through ICO, an education program focused on the areas of housing and health to better support refugees in reaching long term integration and self-sufficiency. AmeriCorps members will design, coordinate and deliver intensive community orientation (ICO) for 1,107 refugees, develop 130 new community partnerships and train 100 community individuals on working with refugee populations.

Local Operating Site Overview: CWS Lancaster, PA

The member will be placed at CWS in Lancaster, PA. In FY-18 CWS Lancaster anticipates resettling approximately 140 refugees and 30 Cuban/Haitian Entrants. In addition to its resettlement programs, CWS Lancaster also administers employment programs that help refugee as well as Cuban/Haitian entrants find employment; intensive case management up to 5 years after arrival for refugees and other immigrants who have greater barriers to self-sufficiency; ESL classes for eligible refugees and entrants, and a legal Immigration program which offers low cost legal counseling for clients in the immigration field including citizenship, applications for green cards, petitions for family members, consults on attaining legal status, and much more.

The role of the AmeriCorps member will be to act as an educator to the community of refugee and entrant clients resettled by CWS Lancaster, by strengthening their understanding of good housing maintenance and safety issues, as well as tenants’ rights and responsibilities. To achieve this goal, the AmeriCorps member will expand CWS Lancaster cultural orientation instruction on housing through intensive community orientation (ICO) class sessions, and will conduct one-on-one in-home orientation visits, aimed at reinforcing housing topics covered during ICO classes. In addition, the AmeriCorps member will provide orientation to local property managers and property owners, with the goal of enhancing their understanding of refugees’ housing needs and expand the availability of affordable housing to CWS Lancaster refugee and entrant clients. The AmeriCorps member will conduct regular meetings with local community agencies that focus on fair and affordable housing, as well as with city authorities, aimed at educating the local community on refugee clients’ housing needs and challenges. The AmeriCorps member will recruit and orient volunteers to support CWS resettlement clients, with a special focus on clients’ housing.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Leverage and expand upon existing efforts to address gaps and increase quality and quantity of education in housing. Coordinate with case managers and the local community to identify clients who need ICO and enroll clients into the necessary ICO education activities.
  • Design, coordinate and deliver comprehensive, experiential ICO instruction, leveraging existing resources. Lead classroom and community-based ICO activities in group and individual settings, engaging volunteers as appropriate.
  • Assess client understanding of ICO topics and work one-on-one with clients identified as needing additional training. Track participants’ attendance in ICO instruction and address barriers to participation.
  • Recruit and train volunteers to assist in the implementation of ICO and other resettlement duties, including ICO instructors, interpreters, transportation assistance, housing set-up and maintenance, child care, tutors, mentors and classroom assistants.
  • Conduct outreach and education to new and existing housing providers, including developing new housing partnerships and troubleshooting concerns with existing partners.
  • Compile indicators and build on existing research on refugee clients’ self-sufficiency rates, including average renting costs, housing retention rates and employment indicators to highlight refugees’ capacity to support their own housing arrangements once CWS resettlement assistance comes to an end.
  • As needed, liaise between clients, the office and housing partners to ensure access to and maintenance of safe, stable housing.
  • Reach out to local business and other partners to seek in-kind donations in support of ICO activities and clients.

Program Requirements: 

  • Complete 1700 hours in a period of no less than 351 days and no more than 365 days.
  • Consult with your supervisor if you have ideas, issues or concerns, offering analysis and solutions whenever possible
  • Participate in a thorough on-boarding provided at the local level by the direct supervisor and the national level provided by CHWS-HQ.
  • Participate in quarterly one-on-one check-ins with CWS-HQ and at least bi-weekly check-ins with your direct supervisor.
  • Participate in monthly Community of Practice webinars to share resources, challenges and best practices with other CWS Refugee AmeriCorps members. Facilitate at least one CoP call and present on a Learn n Share topic.
  • Complete a Member Service Plan (MSP), and participate in professional development activities.
  • Participate and/or coordinate a Day of Service event on/or around World Refugee Day on June 20th.
  • Participate, if offered, in a Refugee AmeriCorps member conference.
  • Submit monthly service logs and reporting documents to CWS-HQ.
  • Respect confidentiality of clients, staff and AmeriCorps members.
  • Adhere to and follow CNCS and CWS regulations of service.
  • Practice sound health habits, including getting sufficient rest, to effectively perform the position requirements.


Skill Requirements:

  • Ability to speak publicly with defined constituencies regarding specific assigned topics
  • Utilize MS Office (Excel, Word and Access) and Internet applications.
  • Utilize excellent communication skills both in writing and orally. Communicate detailed and/or technical information clearly.
  • Ability to work well with people of diverse backgrounds.
  • Ability to provide culturally sensitive counseling and instruction is required.
  • Strong initiative; self-starter. Ability to creatively problem solve.
  • Previous work/volunteer experience in teaching, refugee resettlement or other direct social services preferred. Curriculum and training development experience preferred.
  • Ability to drive to clients’ homes and clean driving record

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Members must be at least 18 years of age or 17 years of age with written parental consent.
  • Members must be a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident or U.S. national.
  • Members must have a High School Diploma, earned an equivalency certificate or obtain a waiver. Members may not have dropped out of elementary or high school.
  • Provide proof of enrollment in a health insurance plan within 30 days of service.
  • Selection into the program will be contingent upon a criminal history check, including the national sex offender public registry, state criminal history registries for locations where the member has lived as well as the service location and an FBI fingerprint check.

For more information:

On the Refugee AmeriCorps Initiative and its work contact Ella Fowler, CWS HQ Refugee AmeriCorps Program Specialist, at 212/870.2648 or or Valentina Ross, Resettlement Program Coordinator, at 717-381-2891