HIAS in the United States

Founded: 1881
Staff Size: 98
Office Locations: Silver Spring, Maryland (Headquarters) and New York City 
 
Additionally, HIAS partners with Jewish Family Services and other social service organizations to resettle refugees in nearly 20 cities across the country. To view the full list of partners, click here.
 

REFUGEES IN THE UNITED STATES

Each year, the U.S. welcomes thousands of refugees from countries such as Somalia, Syria, Ukraine, Burma, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Before arriving in the U.S., refugees must undergo thorough screening including interviews, background checks and medical exams. 
 
After refugees clear these vetting procedures and take part in other pre-arrival activities, each case is matched with one of nine resettlement agencies (RAs). The resettlement agencies then match the needs of each case with resources available in a local community. If an incoming case already has family in the U.S., they will likely be resettled near or with them. 

Once a case has been matched with an RA and all other steps are complete, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) transports the refugee(s) to their new home in the United States. Transportation to the U.S. is provided as a loan by IOM, and refugees are required to repay it after they arrive in the U.S. 
 

HIAS BENEFICIARIES IN THE UNITED STATES

As part of the United States Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP), refugees and Special Immigrant Visa holders (SIVs) are the sole beneficiaries of HIAS programs in the United States. HIAS also offers legal services to asylum seekers and other immigrants through its legal department. During FY 2017, HIAS resettled approximately 3,300 refugees and SIVs. 
 

HIAS SERVICES IN THE UNITED STATES

The Pre-Arrival team ensures that refugees assured by HIAS arrive safely and are welcomed by local partners. HIAS then works with partners to provide programs that aid refugees in social and economic integration through public and private support. This support is diverse and includes other non-profit organizations, foundations, religious organizations and others. 
 
Basic Needs
The Reception and Placement (R&P) program benefits all refugees in the U.S. from the moment they enter the country, until 90 days after arrival. Through the program, HIAS affiliates provide essential services to refugees, including airport reception; safe, affordable, sanitary housing; essential furnishings, food and clothing; cultural and community orientation; English as a Second Language enrollment; and assistance with access to other social, medical and employment services.

Social Integration
HIAS works to ensure refugees have opportunities to create connections with local communities and find necessary support for long-term integration. The Preferred Communities program serves particularly vulnerable refugees through intensive case management, extensive cultural orientation, and links refugees to longer-term community services. HIAS also hosts Refugee AmeriCorps Members at local affiliates to build capacity focused on volunteer recruitment and management. 
 
Economic Integration
Economic Integration is essential in order for refugees to become self-sufficient and successfully integrate in the United States. HIAS assists refugees with integration through programs such as Matching Grant (MG), Individual Development Accounts (IDA), and Microenterprise Development (MED) along with HIAS’ financial literacy curriculum. The MG program pairs engages volunteers and donations to support refugees soon after their arrival and emphasizes rapid employment. The IDA program matches savings of refugees to build assets. The MED program empowers refugee women, who generally have limited access to capital and credit, to start and operate microenterprises from their homes to increase their household’s income through education, training, peer networks, and mentorship. The program increases self-confidence, expands access to social and financial networks, and provides an understanding of the financial services industry, including financial literacy to ensure women can economically integrate in the U.S.