Refugee and Immigrant Self-Empowerment

About our Buffalo Office

Programming & Community Benefits Offered in Buffalo

Annually, RISE provides services for nearly 400 refugees and immigrant families from over 25 nations worldwide. In contrast to traditional refugee resettlement agencies’ services that are limited to the individual’s initial 90 days, RISE’s staff continues to provide support for refugees and immigrants beyond this initial period. This ensures that all New Americans -irrespective of origin- are able to lead productive lives, engage in their community, and continue to pursue successful integration.

Crucial to this mission are RISE’s most important and popular services, bridging case management, and interpretation programs. Here a client can find housing assistance and referrals; family crisis intervention and mediation services; community resource referrals; and document translation services such as medical and legal interpretation. The organization’s employment services include pre-screenings, work orientation, job-coaching, vocational English language instruction, and other practices facilitating workforce entry, professional development, and job retention. Refugees and immigrants are motivated workers in pursuit of economic self-sufficiency for themselves and their families.

Statistically as well, those employed require less public assistance, contribute to the local economy, pay taxes, and often provide employers both tax credits and training incentives. Our results speak for themselves: from April 1 to September 30, 2017, of the 396 clients who received employment services, 42 gained full employment and 10 gained part-time employment. Complementing our case management work is our Citizenship Program, which has produced over one hundred graduate-citizens since its inception in 2009. Weekly testing and mock interviews for the N-400 Naturalization Application ensure mastery before clients undergo the actual citizenship test, resulting in both in a 100% success rate as well as protection against opportunity costs for USCIS officers’ use of community resources in testing unprepared applicants.

Our daytime Adult Literacy Programs provide clients with English as Second Language (ESL) classes, computer literacy training, and job as well as life skills training that ranges from resume preparation to stitching and sewing. Increasingly, our attention has also turned to two of the most disenfranchised demographics within Onondaga County: Women and Youth. Specifically, Women and Female Youth Empowerment programs reduce isolation, increase confidence, and spur intercultural and interethnic exchange through the arts, cultural events, field trips, and workshops.

Mohamed Muse
Director, Buffalo Office