The African Community Center 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.
Cultural Orientation (CO) provides newly-arrived refugees with a classroom and community based orientation to life in the Denver metro area. Through a welcoming and safe learning environment, participants are prepared to achieve self-sufficiency more quickly by making independent economic, social, and cultural contributions to the communities in which they live.
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).
With the ultimate goal of economic self-sufficiency, ACC's Employment Services team supports refugees in their efforts to seek employment. ACC's Career Counselors and Job Developers 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.
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. After Cultural Orientation, community members have several choices of job readiness training, including: We Made This, a women's sewing and employment training program; Ready for American Hospitality (RAH), a food service program held in coordination with the University of Denver School of Hospitality. Additional short term training workshops are offered, including Job Club, Financial Literacy, Home Buyer’s Education, Learn to Ride a Bicycle, and Women's Health Classes and more.