Refugee AmeriCorps Initiative

The Refugee AmeriCorps Initiative is a nationwide AmeriCorps program that was established in 2015 to assist with the integration and community engagement of refugees. This program is  managed by CWS and funded through a joint-private partnership between the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR).

In this partnership, ORR supports the placement of 11 AmeriCorps members at 10 CWS affiliated local resettlement agencies across the US. The CWS Refugee AmeriCorps Initiative expands the agency’s and the local communities’ ability to support refugees by placing an AmeriCorps member to administer the Preferred Communities Intensive Community Orientation (PC-ICO) program. The PC-ICO program supports refugee integration by enhancing mutual understanding between refugees and their new U.S. communities through intensive community orientation, an in-depth, interactive, location specific education program focused on the areas of housing and health to better support refugees in reaching long-term integration and self-sufficiency.

Click here to meet all of our AmeriCorps Members in Service

During 2016, Refugee AmeriCorps members:

  • Recruited and trained 36 on-going volunteers
  • Provided 268.50 hours of group ICO and 136.25 hours of one-on-one ICO to 121 clients in the areas of housing, health and/or employment. This is an average of 3.34 hours per client.
  • Of the 31 individuals who participated in housing ICO, 72% (24 individuals) demonstrated improve understanding of housing topics.
  • Of the 37 individuals who participated in employment ICO, 87% (33 individuals) demonstrated improved understanding of employment topics.
  • Of the 33 individuals who participated in health ICO, 70% (23 individuals) demonstrated improved understanding of health topics.
  • Built partnerships with 13 different community partners including service provides, non-profit agencies, landlords, volunteers and businesses.
  •  Members created 31 resources, including ICO curriculums, PowerPoints, informational materials etc., to support ICO programming.

Thank you for your interest in the Refugee AmeriCorps program. Applications are closed for the 2017-2018 service year. Information regarding the 2018-2019 service year will be made available during the first half of 2018.