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Immigrant/Refugee Shelters

Programs that provide temporary shelter for refugees, refugee claimants and/or other immigrants who have no other housing arrangements. These facilities usually provide health, housing, employment, legal and other settlement services required by refugees.

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Immigrant Benefits Assistance

Programs that provide assistance for non-citizens who are having difficulty understanding and/or obtaining access to the government-sponsored entitlement programs and social services for which they are eligible including housing programs, employment assistance and job training; medical assistance; and other government entitlements. The program may help these individuals understand the eligibility criteria for benefits and services, the benefits/services available, the payment process and the rights of beneficiaries; provide consultation and advice; help them complete benefits application forms; negotiate on their behalf with benefits administration and social service staff; and/or represent them in administrative processes or judicial litigation. Included are benefits counselling organizations that offer a range of advocacy services and legal aid programs that offer more formalized legal assistance.

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Cultural Transition Facilitation

Programs that help arriving refugees, immigrants and repatriated persons settle and make an adjustment to the traditions, values and lifestyles of their adopted country.

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Newcomer Settlement Services

Programs that help newly arrived immigrant and refugee individuals or families make the adjustment to their new home and community. Services may include reception upon arrival; provision of a "welcome kit" of immediate necessities and information; collection and provision of household goods; cultural orientation and ESL or FSL classes; and assistance in locating housing and employment, using public transportation and identifying other needed services.

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Immigrant/Refugee Support Groups

Mutual support groups whose members are immigrants, refugees, temporary workers and other newcomers. The groups meet in-person, by telephone or via the Internet; and allow participants to share their experience, strengths and hopes to solve the problems they have in common and to address the cultural transition and quality of life issues that affect them all.

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Cultural Transition Counselling

Programs that provide emotional support, information and guidance in a variety of settings for individuals, often refugees or other immigrants, who are experiencing stress, confusion and other feelings which result from difficulty adjusting to the language, customs, values and other aspects of a culture that is different than their own. Counselling may be available in the individual's primary language.

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The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.


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