ECDC African Community Center

EIN: 52-1308986

Mission Statement

Enable and empower refugees on their path toward building safe, sustainable lives. 

Program Summary

Reception & Placement Program

The Reception & Placement program at ACC-DC-VA provides a robust suite of initial support services for newly arrived refugees and SIV holders. Over the first 90 days, clients receive essential aid including airport pickup, temporary housing, food assistance, enrollment in benefit programs, health screenings, and cultural orientation. These services are critical in helping clients stabilize and begin to navigate their new environment, setting a foundation for successful integration into the community.

Employment Support Services

Our Employment Support Services are designed to help refugees and immigrants overcome barriers to employment and advance their careers. We provide comprehensive support, including job training, skills development, resume building, and career counseling. Additionally, we facilitate job fairs to connect clients directly with potential employers, offering both immediate hiring opportunities and long-term career advancement.

Health Education and Support

ACC-DC-VA addresses health disparities by advocating for equitable healthcare and organizing health workshops in collaboration with local health departments. Our services include organizing pop-up vaccination sites and providing education on preventive care and wellness. This proactive approach ensures that our clients not only understand their health care options but also have access to necessary services to maintain good health.

Youth Mentorship and Family Enrichment

Our youth mentorship program pairs young immigrants and refugees with mentors who can provide guidance, support, and encouragement as they navigate their new lives. This program is part of our broader family enrichment services that aim to strengthen family ties and support through community-building activities and educational workshops, ensuring families have the resources to thrive together.

Intensive Case Management

For clients facing complex challenges, our intensive case management program offers personalized, in-depth support. Case managers work closely with individuals and families to address a range of needs including legal, health, and social services, ensuring that each client receives comprehensive and tailored assistance.

Immigration Aid

We offer legal immigration assistance to navigate the complexities of the U.S. immigration system, helping with visa applications, green card renewals, citizenship paperwork, and family reunification petitions. Our legal team’s expertise is crucial in guiding clients through legal hurdles and providing necessary representation.

Women’s Empowerment Program

Our Women’s Empowerment Program is dedicated to supporting female clients through educational resources, empowerment workshops, and community integration activities. It focuses on building resilience and autonomy, helping women gain the skills and confidence needed to participate fully in their new community.

Victim Advocacy

The Victim Advocacy program supports clients affected by crime, trafficking, or domestic violence. We provide counseling, mental health services, and legal advocacy to help them navigate various systems and recover from their experiences. This program is crucial in ensuring that victims receive compassionate and effective support. These programs are all aimed at empowering our clients and guiding them towards self-sufficiency, ensuring they have the support needed to overcome barriers and integrate successfully into their new communities

Impact Statement

At ACC-DC Metro, we focus on fostering self-sufficiency among newly arrived refugees and immigrants. In Fiscal Year 23, we resettled over 1,700 individuals, providing comprehensive services including resettlement assistance, legal support, youth casework, language training, employment support, and health and mental well-being programs.

Our efforts ensure smooth transitions for clients into new communities, while also addressing the complexities of immigration legal processes. Dedicated caseworkers connect youth with educational resources and mentorship for better cultural and social integration. For adults, we offer employment training to enhance job prospects and financial independence. Our health services tackle both physical and psychological needs, ensuring clients start their new lives in optimal health.

Community integration is also key; for example, our post-COVID-19 Refugees’ First Thanksgiving event brought together over 450 refugees with 200 volunteers, celebrating new beginnings and cultural exchange. Another community event attracted 500 members, including new arrivals, highlighting local support from over 100 individuals and businesses.

These initiatives help our clients become contributing, integrated members of society, reflecting our commitment to their long-term success and well-being in their new homeland.

What ways can the public get involved?

At ACC-DC Metro, you can get involved and make a meaningful impact on the lives of refugees through a variety of opportunities:

  • In-Kind Donations: Donate furniture, household items, or shop for pre-made Welcome Kits containing essentials for refugees. Your contributions create welcoming homes and ease the transition for newcomers.
  • Co-Sponsorship: Join as a co-sponsor to provide long-term support to refugee families. This involves mentoring, collecting donations, and assisting with essential services.
  • First Friends Program: Welcome refugees at the airport and support them as they settle into their new community. This role requires a commitment of at least three months to help refugees navigate their new environment.
  • Youth Mentorship & Tutoring: Mentor and tutor refugee youth, providing academic assistance and guidance on career paths.
  • Corporate Volunteering: Companies and employees can volunteer in activities that support refugees, with flexible scheduling options for both one-time and ongoing commitments.
  • Refugee Employment Workshop Consultants: Volunteer quarterly to assist refugees in enhancing their employment prospects through job search guidance, resume editing, and interview preparation.
  • Flexible Volunteering: Engage in diverse, as-needed volunteer activities like driving refugees to appointments or helping with English language practice. 

How are charitable dollars spent? Where does my donation go?

Donations to ACC-DC Metro play a vital role in enhancing the lives of refugees and immigrants by supporting essential services that meet their needs. Contributions help furnish homes for new arrivals, provide Welcome Kits with crucial items for resettlement, and fund employment programs such as job training and interview preparation. Additionally, your donations support youth educational programs, legal assistance for navigating immigration processes, and critical health services including healthcare access and surgeries. Emergency assistance funds cover immediate needs like rental support during crises. Donations also enable community integration events that foster a sense of belonging. Your generosity ensures ACC-DC Metro can continue to offer these vital services, directly impacting the lives of those we serve and aiding their successful integration and empowerment in their new communities.

A large group of new arrivals pose for a photo in front of the washington monument.

Information provided April 2024