Refugee Social Services (RSS)
East African refugees arrive in Minnesota needing emergency housing, assistance in filing for public benefits and finding permanent housing, enrolling their children in school, finding employment, learning about immigration requirements and services, finding a primary physician and dentist, and learning how to navigate the many systems with which they will interact as they become settled in MN. AICS provides all of these services in Somali, Amharic, Arabic and English. These trauma-informed services are labor intensive as all of it is foreign to these new arrivals and not linguistically or culturally accessible. AICS staff help families to understand the cultural norms and societal expectations in Minnesota, orient them to public transportation and provide information and warm referral for services not provided at AICS.
AICS performs an initial intake of individuals/families to identify their needs before referring them to the services listed below. Warm referrals to other service providers outside of AICS are done as needed.
Connecting families with immigration legal services and assisting with gathering required documentation
Translating documents and correspondence they receive from their landlord or government services
Understanding their legal rights and responsibilities
Navigating services for medical, legal, immigration, government services
Cultural orientation to MN
Navigation of social service and government providers
Assistance obtaining emergency shelter or other housing
Assistance in applying for public benefits such as food stamps, disability insurance, medical assistance, etc.
Helping them understand the education system and how to choose a school for their child(ren) and the enrollment process
Understanding health care benefits and renewal process
Choosing a primary care clinic and dentist, encouraging preventive care
Registration at their local food bank