By Ashtyn Porter
It’s been a busy year for our Immigrant and Refugee Services program as we continue to expand and broaden our capabilities to serve as many people as possible. There’s a lot of work to be done, but at enCircle, we are fueled by a love for our community and a passion to help immigrants and refugees settle into new homes.
"I just have so much respect for our clients," said Lindsay Komline, the program manager for the CARE network. The CARE network helps connect adult asylum seekers with mental health services and case management, ensuring they have the resources they and their families need in order to adjust and heal. "I realize I can’t know all that they’re going through, but I think that they're people who anyone would want to have in their community, in their church, or in their neighborhood. They’re just wonderful community members anyone would be lucky to have."
The CARE network also offers one-on-one parenting classes and is developing human trafficking awareness courses and know-your-rights training aimed at helping immigrants navigate the complicated legal process. It is one of enCircle’s multiple programs which support immigrants and refugees in their journeys in the United States.
Another growing service is our Transitional Foster Care program, which helps unaccompanied children crossing the border who need a home while waiting for their sponsors or family members. Belinda Pino, Director of Immigration and Refugee Services, talked about the difficulties facing these children.
"Some kids come with a sponsor family, some don’t. For example, there is one child with us who was given to another family at the border. Her mom paid them because gangs were going to kill her, so this child has nobody here. If we don’t get foster families to take care of these kids, we’re not getting anywhere."
Many immigrants coming to the southern border are fleeing poverty, corrupt governments, or gang violence. EnCircle provides children who’ve crossed the border with a temporary home, while a sponsor family can be found and vetted. We also provide mental health services to help them cope with the trauma many endure in the process of crossing the border.
"When you talk about kids coming from the border, it's not their fault, they had no choice. For example, that child, if she stayed in the country with the whole gang situation, she would’ve died. It's not her fault. So who are we not to help these kids coming to our country? Let's help them, let's facilitate them, let's give them the tools to be successful! We never know if the child we help is going be the one to guide the future."
Learn more about our Immigration and Refugee Services here!