The ACC operates a reception and placement program through ECDC, the Ethiopian Community Development Council. Basic resettlement services are provided for up to 90 days, and case management and employment services may be provided for up to 5 years. Additional supportive services are provided through the generous contributions of partners, individuals, family foundations and former refugees.
ACC provides housing assistance to newly-arriving refugees by securing appropriate living arrangements prior to arrival in the U.S. and providing all initial furnishings and household items they need. We also provide education and support to refugees navigating the U.S. housing system, including connections to options for subsidized housing and home-ownership.
Our case managers act as advocates who strive to support the needs of newly arriving refugee families and individuals. Services include welcoming clients upon arrival at the airport, helping them navigate Denver’s transportation system, referring clients to medical services, enrolling children into the public school system, registering families with federal, state, and local assistance programs (Social Security, Food Stamps, Medicaid, etc.) as well as simply being there to listen and provide comfort.
ACC’s Health Coordination Office brings new arrivals to a thorough health screening and physical at the Refugee Clinic and helps them to schedule follow-up appointments, establish access to Primary Care, and learn how to obtain prescriptions. ACC also helps to resolve medical bills and make referrals for mental health services. When refugee community members have trouble accessing the care they need, we advocate for them. When there are obstacles for medical providers serving refugee populations, we offer education and support to providers.
School Enrollment is a service provided by ACC as part of the resettlement and placement program to help school-age children enroll in the public school system in the Metro-Denver area. This service explains expectations and guidelines for school within the United States to children and their parents. Families are also introduced to the many opportunities available to refugee youth through ACC’s Youth Programs, including the Colorado Refugee Youth Scholarship Fund and International City’s after-school and summer programs such as OnTRAC (Training for Refugees Accessing College).
Daily training sessions offer ACC community members a safe and welcoming environment to build on job readiness strengths and skills, develop additional social support systems, and explore cultural differences. Community Orientation (CO) focuses on critical information for newcomers, including rights and responsibilities, the U.S. healthcare and education systems, and transportation. After CO, community members have several choices of job readiness training, including: We Made This, a women's sewing and employment training program; Commercial Food Safety and Service Training (CFaSST), a food service program held in coordination with the University of Denver School of Hospitality; Job Club, a daily workshop where participants gain hands-on job search support; and Ready for Retail, a customer service and cashiering-focused training for young adults.
With the ultimate goal of economic self-sufficiency, ACC's Employment Team supports refugees in their efforts to seek employment. ACC's Employment Specialists help prepare refugees for the American workforce by developing an employment and training plan, assisting refugees in their search for appropriate employment opportunities, developing interview skills, and working through the hiring process with ongoing employer follow-up. Referrals are made to various internal and external job-skills training programs, which increases the possibilities of employment and career mobility within specific fields.