Intensive Community Orientation AmeriCorps Member

February 14, 2017

Position Title: Intensive Community Orientation AmeriCorps Member
Reports To: Resettlement Program Coordinator & CWS HQ
Team: Refugee AmeriCorps Initiative
Placement Site: Church World Service, Lancaster, PA
Benefits: Living Allowance of $20,000 (distributed over 12 months), Education Award of $5,775, 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.

Church World Service (CWS) is a not-for-profit organization working to eradicate hunger and poverty and to promote peace and justice around the world. CWS does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability or veteran status in employment or in the provision of services.

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

Please note that CWS does not accept resumes for positions that are not posted.  All applicants are required to submit their resume using the on-line applicant tracking system.

CWS uses Applicant Stack for all communications, please be sure to check your e-mail frequently and please check your junk/spam folder.  Due to the volume of applications that we receive, only those individuals shortlisted will be contacted.

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).

The Intensive Community Orientation AmeriCorps member position is part of a national AmeriCorps program managed by CWS and funded by a joint partnership between the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). The program engages 11 AmeriCorps members for one year of full-time service (1,700 hours) at 10 local resettlement agencies in Delray Beach, FL, Grand Rapids, MI, Minneapolis, MN, Jersey City, NJ, 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. Members will:

  1. develop and/or enhance ICO Curriculums and education activities in the areas of housing and health;
  2. coordinate ICO activities, including the instruction of ICO workshops, scheduling and tracking of participants;
  3. Recruit and manage volunteers to assist with ICO;
  4. Build partnerships and train community organizations and individuals in working with refugee populations.

AmeriCorps members are expected to participate in on-boarding trainings, monthly Community of Practice Calls (CoP) calls, quarterly check-ins with CWS HQ, Day of Service events, and, if offered, the AmeriCorps conference. Members are required to complete a Member Service Plan and participate in professional development opportunities.

Local Operating Site Overview: CWS Lancaster, PA

CWS Lancaster resettles approximately 400 refugees and 250 Cuban/Haitian Entrants in Lancaster County every year. CWS Lancaster also administers employment programs that help over 400 refugee clients find employment every year,  intensive case management up to one year after arrival for refugees who have greater barriers to self-sufficiency, a daily ESL class for eligible Cuban/Haitian 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 clients resettled by CWS Lancaster, by strengthening their understanding of good housing maintenance and safety issues, as well as tenants’ rights and responsibilities. In order to achieve this goal, the AmeriCorps member will expand CWS Lancaster cultural orientation instruction on housing through intensive community orientation (ICO), and will conduct one-on-one in-home orientation visits to refugee clients, aimed at reinforcing housing topics covered during ICO classes. In addition, the AmeriCorps member will act as an advocate within the local community, with the goal of expanding the number of partnerships with local property managers and increase the offer of affordable housing to CWS Lancaster refugee clients. To this end, the AmeriCorps member will compile indicators and conduct research on refugee clients’ self sufficiency rates, including average renting costs, housing retention rates and employment indicators, aimed at highlighting refugees’ capacity to support their own housing arrangements once CWS resettlement assistance comes to an end. The AmeriCorps member will conduct regular meetings with local property managers and city authorities aimed at educating the local community on refugee clients’ housing needs and challenges.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Assess pre-existing cultural orientation, education and housing capacity, resources and programs in the community.
  • Design, coordinate and deliver comprehensive, experiential ICO instruction, leveraging existing resources. Lead classroom and community-based ICO activities in group or individual settings, engaging volunteers as appropriate.
  • Coordinate with case managers to identify clients who can be enrolled in ICO. 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, such as ICO instructors, interpreters, transportation assistance, child care, tutors, mentors and classroom assistants.
  • Research, develop and maintain housing partnerships within the community.
  • Train community individuals through community ICO on how to better support refugee populations.
  • Compile indicators and build on existing research on refugee clients’ self-sufficiency rates, including average renting costs, housing retention rates and employment indicators.
  • As needed, liaise between clients, the office and housing partners to ensure access to and maintenance of safe, stable housing.

Program Requirements:

  • Complete 1700 hours in a period of no less than 351 days and no more than 365 days.
  • 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.
  • Adhere to and follow CNCS and CWS regulations of service.


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.
  • 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.

AmeriCorps 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.
  • In order to serve in the Refugee AmeriCorps Initiative, members must 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 CWS, visit us on the web at
  • On the Refugee AmeriCorps Initiative and its work contact Ella Fowler, CWS HQ Refugee AmeriCorps Program Specialist, at 212/870.2648 or