If you’re Finding Help with Immigration in Chicago, there are many community organizations and private attorneys who can help. Find one that suits your needs and then contact them for more information.
For example, if you’re an immigrant who needs to obtain a visa or green card, finding an attorney who specializes in immigration law can make the process go much more smoothly.
Esperanza Health Centers
Esperanza Health Centers is a nonprofit that provides bilingual, high-quality primary care, behavioral health, and wellness services to the community regardless of immigration status or ability to pay. The organization operates four clinics on the Southwest Side.
The organization’s MAT Team focuses on treatment and harm reduction for individuals struggling with substance use and mental health issues. The group believes in a person-centered approach that involves motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioral therapy, and storytelling.
In addition to providing a wide range of addiction treatment options, Esperanza’s MAT program also provides patients with access to naloxone education, fentanyl testing kits, and more. These tools are designed to help individuals avoid overdose and STI’s.
The organization has recently launched a pioneering geriatric health center on the Southwest Side. The new facility, which is located next to the organization’s existing campus at 4700 S. California Ave., is part of a state-wide initiative that allows Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries to receive comprehensive care without the need for nursing home care.
Immigrant Family Resource Program
The Immigrant Family Resource Program is a state-wide program that helps eligible immigrant families access the public benefits they need for their health, well-being and economic self-sufficiency. This includes helping immigrants and their children navigate the state’s public benefit application process, removing barriers for them to seek services (nutritional, medical, housing, psychological, childcare, employment) and cash support for their needs.
The IFRP is funded through a partnership between the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, the Illinois Department of Human Services and immigrant-serving agencies across Chicago. The IFRP offers case management services to help eligible immigrants access the public benefits they need, including SNAP, Medicaid, TANF, subsidized housing, and child support.
The IFRP also provides assistance to families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including case management and relief funds for rent, utility bills, clothing, food and medication. Additionally, IFRP provides outreach and community education to increase the understanding of Illinois’s state and federal policies on public benefits eligibility based on immigration status.
Office of New Americans
The Office of New Americans, a city resource, works to ensure that newcomers can find the support they need. It offers services to immigrants and refugees who are seeking employment, housing, healthcare, education and citizenship.
The city also launched a public awareness campaign to inform immigrant communities about their rights when it comes to interactions with immigration officials. The office encourages immigrants to be aware of their rights and carry a Know Your Rights card.
In addition, World Relief, a non-profit agency that is providing support to asylum seekers arriving in Chicago, needs hygiene kits and has started organizing with churches across the conference as donation collection sites for these items.
In an effort to better assist newly-arrived asylum seekers in the city, Mayor Cooper retooled the Office of New Americans into the Office of Migrant Protection and Integration, which is now staffed with bilingual/multilingual staff that coordinates efforts between the mayor’s office and City Council and other governmental agencies to adapt city programs, benefits and services to migrants. They conduct outreach to community groups and leaders to develop a comprehensive city plan for asylum seekers.
RefugeeOne is a Chicago-based nonprofit that works with refugees to help them become self-sufficient and independent in the United States. The organization provides services to refugee families of all ages and backgrounds, including housing, English language classes, job search support, mental health care, youth programming, and more.
Since its inception in 1982, RefugeeOne has served more than 2,500 refugees annually to create opportunity for their new lives of safety and dignity in Chicago. The agency focuses on helping these immigrants and refugees gain independence within six to nine months.
The nonprofit recently opened its West Ridge headquarters, which combines two previously separate facilities to serve the agency’s many needs more efficiently. The 16,000-square-foot, three-story building also includes training rooms, a sewing studio, and a dental clinic.