- Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization -
IRCO's mission is to promote the integration of refugees, immigrants and the community at large into a self-sufficient, healthy and inclusive multi-ethnic society.
Jessica Smith from Lighthearted Humans, a photojournalist specializing in immigrant has provided IRCO with photographs for both their website as well as their annual reports in order to help them better communicate their goals, challenges and successes.
Founded for refugees, by refugees, IRCO has 40 years of experience working in the Portland area. IRCO’s mission is to “promote the integration of refugees, immigrants and the community at large into a self-sufficient, healthy and inclusive multi-ethnic society.”
Throughout 2017 alone, IRCO has helped 31,349 community members, of all different ethnicities in the Portland area.
Together along with their many partners and donors ranging from The City of Portland, and The Nature Conservancy, to Adidas and Chase Bank, IRCO was able to breathe life into communities where some struggle to find their footing. They prioritize basic needs that struggling community members are lacking which mostly involve the provision or assistance with obtaining adequate housing, receiving an equitable education, having access to healthcare, and maintaining meaningful employment and self sufficiency.
The organization is structured into four main categories based on the needs of the Portland Community, as well as the demand for various services. The Main Office, The Asian Family Center, The Africa House, and the Senior Services Center. Together, these groups have provided incalculable support to these underserved communities in the Portland area.
Each year, an annual report is published by the staff, and it highlights the successes the organization has had throughout the year, as well as points out a few areas which are lagging behind due to slow policy implementation, or community engagement. However some successes include; job training to 5,478 people who built upon existing skills, and learned new ones, to help with internship opportunities or in job searches. Of these, 2,069 people were placed in employment, and 1,606 youth were able to gain work experiences.
Furthermore, 602 families has home consultations, and 90% of parents reported increased time spent with their children thereafter.5,095 students engaged in after school programs, 1242 students participated in academic success programs, and 90% of students attended 90% or more of days throughout the school year.
Finally, the helpful staff has directly benefitted individuals by serving 8175 meals to immigrants and refugees, translated 2,777.532 words from important documents and logged 4,1746 hours interpreted during person to person interviews and 298,635 minutes logged in telephonic translations.