Provide Refugee Resettlement and Social Services

Refugee Program
Matching Grant Program
Preferred Communities Program
Individual Development Accounts (IDA) Program
Other Social Services

 

The Ethiopian Community Development Council serves the African immigrant and refugee community in the United States through a broad spectrum of programs that are conducted locally and nationally.


ECDC's programs assist newcomers and improve their quality of life by helping them become productive individuals who give back to their community. On a national level, ECDC resettles refugees from around the world through a network of community-based affiliates and serves as a voice for African newcomers.

 

 

Refugee Resettlement
The United States has a long tradition of welcoming those forced to leave their homelands due to persecution. ECDC is one of nine national agencies authorized by the Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) to resettle refugees in the U.S. Since the inception of our Reception and Placement (R&P) Program in 1991, we have resettled over 25,000 refugees from around the world.


ECDC has a network of three branch offices and 14 affiliate offices throughout the United States. These offices work with each refugee for an initial 30-day period that can be extended up to 90 days after arrival. Staff and volunteers at these offices provide basic services, including welcoming refugees at the airport; providing housing and household furniture supplies; ensuring that refugees have food and clothing; and assisting them to enroll in school, English language programs, employment services, health screenings, and other public services. The overall goal is to facilitate their transition into becoming self-sufficient members of their communities.

 

 

Matching Grant Program
The Matching Grant (MG) program, funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, supplements refugee resettlement programming within ECDC’s affiliate network by providing employment services to eligible clients. The program helps refugees, asylees, victims of trafficking, Cuban/Haitian entrants, certain Amerasians from Vietnam, and Special Immigrant Visa holders. Since ECDC began administering the program in 1995, it has assisted over 8,000 clients.


Through the MG program, ECDC’s affiliates provide a range of services to help clients obtain employment quickly. In addition to these direct employment services, they provide maintenance assistance in the form of a monthly cash allowance, rent and utilities payments, and funds for transportation. The primary purpose of these services is to help newcomers gain employment within 120 to 180 days of arrival in the U.S.

 

 

Preferred Communities Program
The Preferred Communities (PC) program, funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, is designed to support the resettlement of newly-arrived refugees in communities where they have many opportunities to become self-sufficient and integrated. Additionally, its purpose is to support refugees with special needs who require intensive case management.


ECDC’s PC program seeks to expand and strengthen our affiliates’ ability to resettle refugees without family or other social connections in the U.S.; to enhance job readiness services through intensive case management; and to generate cash, volunteer, and in-kind donations that directly support agencies’ newly arriving refugee caseloads. We administer this program at a select number of our branch and affiliate offices.

 

 

Individual Development Accounts (IDA) Program
In October 2010, ECDC established the Individual Development Accounts (IDA) program at our Las Vegas branch office. Funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, the program helps low-income refugees save money towards education and asset building.


ECDC’s IDA program matches the refugees’ savings to be used toward first time home purchases, college education tuition payments, vehicle purchases, or microenterprise start-up costs. While participants are saving to achieve their asset goals, the program provides them with financial literacy and asset-specific education. The financial training is intended to help refugees understand budgeting, banking, the value of saving and turning savings to an asset, and the importance of having a good credit. The ACC also collaborates with banks and other community partners to augment its program.

 

 

Other Social Services
Our branch and affiliate offices provide a wide range of services including: • Immigration counseling; • Youth and after-school projects; • Domestic violence education; and • Health programs such as HIV testing, breast cancer awareness, and diabetes education.