#Community,  #Service

Islamic Relief USA Donors Fill IRC Program Gap, Prevent Homelessness

Last week, the IRUSA blog featured one mother who got to keep her home because of emergency help from the IRC and IRUSA. Not only that, but because of the help she received, she was able to get the training she needed for a more stable job, one that allowed her to move to an even better living situation for her family. This program continues to change lives today by specifically helping single individuals and couples without children. The IRC program gives couples without children and single individuals the chance to get on their feet before more responsibility makes doing so too difficult – the program prevents homelessness by providing one-time rental assistance and other services when individuals and childless couples are faced with eviction.

Christina Tobias-Nahi reports on the new program grant. 

Islamic Relief USA was pleased to grant $50,000 in December to the International Rescue Committee at the Suburban Washington Resettlement Center. Pictured here with Executive Director David Godsted, I was happy to present the check on behalf of Islamic Relief USA donors.


This past July, due to budget issues, IRC received notice from the Maryland Office of Refugees and Asylees that rental assistance for single and childless couples would be suspended immediately. Single and childless couples (the majority of those who arrive in the DC Metropolitan area) resettled by IRC still receive initial rental assistance (first month) among other resettlement services such as airport reception, housing search, case management, orientation and employment search services; but have no means of paying for their housing until they are able to secure employment.

Typically, a new arrival will secure employment around their fifth month in the United States. Once employment is secured, they are then able to pay their housing costs with no further assistance needed and are now on the proud path towards self-sufficiency.

Founded in 1933, and headquartered in New York, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) is among the oldest and largest non-profit, non sectarian, voluntary organizations providing relief, protection, and resettlement services to refugees and victims of oppression or violent conflict.

The IRC Silver Spring, MD is the lead agency of the Suburban Washington Resettlement Center, a formal partnership of local resettlement and social service agencies designed to reduce costs and redundancies, and enhance coordination of resettlement services established by the Maryland Office for Refugee and Asylees (MORA) in August 2006.

Islamic Relief USA is filling that gap by providing assistance to 90 individuals in the IRC arrival pipeline this winter – individuals that could be homeless otherwise due to the budget cut in rental assistance. About 70% of these individuals are from Afghanistan and Iraq. Others are small groups of refugees from Ethiopia and Eritrea, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burma and Syria.

Read more about this and other domestic programs with Islamic Relief USA.