To protect our clients and our staff, our office is closed at this time, and we have suspended most in-person intakes and programs. As our staff works from home, we are continuing to reach out to, and support, the immigrant community in whatever ways we can.
Here are some examples of what we are doing currently. Sign up for regular email updates using the form to the right.
- On Saturday, March 28th, IOSC staff delivered meals, Baltimore City Schools learning packets, and multilingual Census 2020 flyers to over 40 immigrant families, feeding a total of 244 people. The meals were generously donated by our friends at Hightopps Backstage Grille.
- On Friday, June 12th, IOSC staff and volunteers, as well as organizers from United Workers, delivered produce to 20 immigrant families. We also had conversations with these families about the issues they are facing, particularly around paying rent and maintenance problems in their apartments. The goal is to organize around some of the most common issues we heard about to improve living conditions for immigrant families.
- On Thursday, July 9th, IOSC staff along with translators from Baltimore City Schools and representatives from the Public Justice Center and United Workers held an event helping people apply for Baltimore City Department of Housing and Community Development’s Rental Relief program. Translators assisted immigrants in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Swahili and Tigrinya.
- The IOSC communicated with the East African, Nepali, refugee, asylum-seeking, and undocumented communities about the importance of Census 2020, and informed them about how to respond. Through social media engagement and virtual outreach to community members, we did our part to ensure that the immigrant community was counted.
- We began Summer Tutoring on Saturday, June 27th. Volunteer tutors worked throughout the week to create and share lesson plans. Each Saturday, we met over Zoom with and the students read books and poetry provided to them by the IOSC and engaged in writing and other creative activities. Fall Tutoring began on Saturday, September 19th and tutors are providing schoolwork support to students each Saturday.
- Financial Literacy classes are continuing over Zoom with our trainers, Cliff Okoth and Francois Ntchombou.
- Our Fall ESOL classes began in September, with three classes (beginner, intermediate and advanced) meeting twice a week over Zoom. The Fall semester ended in mid-November and we are planning to begin our next semester in February 2021.
- We have completed our inaugural cohort for our Mentorship and Cultural Exchange Program and are continuing to recruit for future cohorts.
- In December, we finished our Fall semester of Computer Literacy classes for women immigrants, which were held mostly virtually for ten weeks. We will begin our next semester in February.
Most importantly, know that the IOSC is here! Email us or call the office and leave a message – we will receive it almost immediately. We can do virtual meetings with clients and can continue to help those in need.