Refugee Support Services Program (RSSP)
US Together’s Refugee Support Services Program is funded by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) and designed to remove barriers to employment and financial independence for certain eligible groups who have been in the U.S. for under five years.
Eligible recipients are residents of the Columbus or Toledo area, within five years of their admission date with one of the following statuses:
Lawful permanent residents
Victims of Severe Forms of Trafficking
Certain Amerasians from Vietnam
Haitian and Cuban Entrants
Special Immigrant Visa holders from Iraq or Afghanistan
Fast Track Employment Program
Our Economic Integration Services are organized under our Matching Grant Program. This program provides an alternative approach to state-administered resettlement assistance. All participating agencies agree to match the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) grant with cash or in-kind contributions. Only clients enrolled in our Matching Grant Program can receive the following services for free.
All eligible clients must provide documentary proof of refugee status (refugees admitted under section 207 of the Immigration and Nationality Act), asylee status granted under section 208 of the INA, or victims of severe forms of trafficking per the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000.
Enrollment in this program must occur within 31 days of the individual’s date of eligibility.
Elderly or individuals with disabilities who are expected to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) within nine months after arrival;
Individuals who are already economically self-sufficient (earning a total family income at a level that enables a family unit to support itself without receipt of a cash assistance grant);
Individuals receiving other forms of cash assistance or supplementary income.
Services Available Through Fast Track Employment Program
Career Pathways/Licensing Guides
In an effort to combat brain waste, our organization works closely with the State of Ohio and other agencies to streamline employment pathways for refugees and immigrants. We link clients to licensing opportunities that enable them to improve their job qualifications.
The primary goal is for clients to earn a total family income that enables them to support themselves without receiving cash assistance. At minimum, one family member must be employed. Cash payments such as SNAP, Medicaid, and RMA are allowed and do not affect self-sufficiency status.
Employment-Related ESL Instruction
Clients enrolled in our Matching Grant program are required to attend weekly ESL classes. English can be a huge barrier for refugees and immigrants that need employment. Our teachers work directly with clients to improve their language proficiency.
Our case managers help clients prepare resumes, search for jobs, and apply for employment. We offer mock interviews, training, and advocacy and referral to employers. Throughout their enrollment in the program, clients receive personalized assistance.
Financial Literacy Classes
Through weekly classes, we guide refugee and immigrant families toward the financial mainstream with a culturally-appropriate family-based financial literacy project. Our approach effectively removes barriers to banking, asset accumulation, and consumer purchases that are facilitated by American financial systems.
Job Development and Job Placement
Our case managers pair clients with employment that is appropriate for their skills, experience, and future goals. We link clients to trainings and community resources that will improve their likelihood for employment. Additionally, we ensure they earn enough income to provide for their themselves and/or their families.
Job Readiness Classes
Clients enrolled in our Matching Grant program are required to attend weekly job readiness classes to help them prepare for their entrance into the workforce. Throughout these classes, clients learn how to navigate American workforce culture and norms. They are taught their legal rights and basic employment laws.
Soft Life Skills
Many refugees arrive in the United States after years of living in a refugee camp. Immigrants and refugees alike have fled persecution and terror. We take it upon ourselves to teach them valuable life skills they may not have developed, including problem solving, decision making, interpersonal communication, and networking.
Economic Empowerment for Women
Refugee Women Empowerment and Employment
Refugee and immigrant women face gender-specific obstacles to self-sufficiency as education and employment opportunities are far and few for our sisters abroad. It is very uncommon for Muslim women to hold jobs outside of the home and the majority of female African refugees have never had formal schooling. These facts, coupled with marriage at a young age and the responsibility of child-rearing, put women at a disadvantage for overall well-being. Therefore, all of our offices have a Women’s Empowerment Program targeted at helping women achieve their goals and provide the best possible lives for themselves and their families.
What We Offer:
Assistance with applying for ODJFS benefits for those who qualify;
Assessments to place women on a track towards higher education or employment;
And for those choosing the employment route we will hold enrichment workshops to create resumes, teach interview skills, conduct job searches and secure job placement.
Refugee Microenterprise and Development
This program aims to boost self-confidence and self-sufficiency in women through business startups, and in response to early successes and community needs, it is now open to both men and women. In 12 weeks, participants learn financial literacy, life skills, digital literacy, vocational ESL, and small business training. All participants are matched with a mentor, set up a bank account, and participate in pre-loan assistance. They are also eligible to apply for a loan after the completion of classes. The MED program collaborates with Lakewood High School, John Carroll University, ECDI, SCORE, and Case Western Reserve to provide support, training, field trips, mentoring, and tutoring.
Programs by Office
US Together is proud to offer programs through local offices in three cities around Ohio. Click on your city to learn more about the services available closest to you.
Talk to us directly: