The Asylum Seeker Assistance Project
We thank Judge Paul W. Schmidt for giving us the opportunity to share with you an exciting new project that will provide critically important support to asylum seekers as they pursue their claims for protection in our backlogged immigration court system. We also want to invite those of you who may be local to the DC metro area to join us as we celebrate our first class of 12 asylum seekers completing our job-readiness program. But, first, a bit about the Asylum Seeker Assistance Project (ASAP) and what we do!
Founded in 2016, ASAP is the first and only community-based nonprofit providing comprehensive services to support the estimated 50,000 individuals pursing asylee status in the D.C. Metro region. Our mission is to provide services that support the safety, stability, and economic security of asylum seekers and their families.
Grounded in a strengths-based approach, ASAP combines direct client services with advocacy initiatives to develop programming that promotes community belonging and engagement. By providing access to information, services, and support, ASAP seeks to empower asylum seekers to rebuild their lives in the U.S. and to ensure that we, as a community, take full advantage of their presence and potential.
Employment: ASAP’s employment program combines individualized career planning, 30-hours of job readiness training, and job placement services to address common employment barriers encountered by asylum seekers. Our goal is to equip asylum seekers with the knowledge, skills, and resources needed to secure and retain safe, legal, and purposeful employment.
Community: ASAP’s community program facilitates opportunities for asylum seekers to connect with each other, ASAP volunteers, and the larger community. We also maintain a list of asylees willing and able to provide support and guidance to newly arrived asylum seekers.
Legal: ASAP offers asylum law trainings, legal information sessions, and “Know Your Rights” workshops on demand to clients, attorneys, law students, and community partners. ASAP can also provide targeted referrals to pro bono and low bono immigration legal service providers.
Outreach: ASAP conducts educational awareness events co-facilitated by asylum seekers and asylees. We have given talks and presentations to audiences ranging from elementary school-aged children to adults. By engaging audiences of all ages, we work to plant the seeds of social change.
(Coming 2018) Social Services: ASAP works with clients to create a comprehensive assessment of their life in the U.S. in order to identify client needs, recognize strengths, and prioritize goals. ASAP works with a coalition of community partners to provide information, resources, and referrals to ensure client safety and stability.
Come and Learn More About Us in Person and Celebrate Asylum Seekers!
Please join us in Bethesda, MD, on Saturday, April 29th from 3-6pm to learn more about the Asylum Seeker Assistance Project (ASAP) as we celebrate our launch with the first class of ASAP clients. This is a family-friendly event with planned activity stations (including face-painting, arts and crafts, henna art, and fishing for ducks!) to entertain the little ones. Food, drinks, and lots of good company will be provided.
Please purchase tickets and sign up for the event here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/together-we-rise-a-family-friendly-celebration-tickets-32993122317
How can I contact the organizer with any questions?
We can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can engage with board member Lindsay M. Harris, Assistant Professor of Law at UDC Law teaching in the Immigration and Human Rights clinic at Lindsay.email@example.com.
How can I learn more about ASAP?
Visit our Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/asylumprojectdc/
Thanks to my good friend Professor Lindsay Harris of UDC Law for providing this information. Please note the event on April 29, 2017 is open to all! Please come out to learn, meet, and support this worthy group in its important work!