April 2006, $1,000
Interfaith Refugee Ministry, a nonprofit group based in New Haven, is a federally recognized refugee resettlement agency, working within the structure of the Office of Refugee Resettlement in the US Department of Health and Human Services. Their mission is to welcome refugees to Connecticut and help them become self sufficient and productive members of the community. Since 1982, IRM has resettled more than 4,000 individuals in the Greater New Haven area. The refugees, invited by the US government to start new lives in the U.S., come from all over the world, including the countries of Liberia, Rwanda, Afghanistan, and Cuba. Originally established as a program of Episcopal Social Service, IRM has grown increasingly independent since its inception in 1982. They help refugees find housing and jobs, access medical care, enroll their children in school, teach them English, and help them get accustomed to life in America.