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Refugee Elders Grant

Refugee Elders Services Project

The Refugee Elders Services Project is funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement’s "Services to Older Refugee" Grant. The goals of the grant are to:

  • Establish and expand our working relationship with the Aging & Disability Services Administration and with the local community area agencies on aging to ensure that older refugees in the community can be linked to mainstream aging services in their community.
  • Provide appropriate services to older refugees who are not currently being provided for by the community.
  • Connect older refugees to appropriate services in the community to increase independent living and create opportunities that enable older refugees to live independently as long as possible.
  • Link older refugees to existing naturalization services, with special attention to newly-arrived older refugees and those who have lost, or are at risk of losing, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and/or other federal benefits.

Elders who are age 60 years or older and have current immigration status as a refugee, asylee, Cuban-Haitian entrant, Amerasian, Victim of Trafficking, or Iraqi/Afghan special immigrants with Special Immigrant Visas are eligible to receive services through the Refugee Elders Services Project.

Under the project, eligible elders may participate in:

  • Workshops to assist them to access available aging services in their local community.
  • Life Skills Training to enable them to live more independently.
  • Survival ESL and Conversation Circles to improve their English language skills and proficiency.
  • Introductory Citizenship services to engage them on the benefits of becoming a U.S. Citizen.
  • Referral services to connect them with free citizenship services to assist them to apply and prepare for the naturalization process.

Service areas are currently limited to Clark, King, Pierce, Snohomish, and Spokane Counties.

If you believe you are eligible for services, please contact one of our providers for further information.

ORIA Program Manager Contact Information:

Lisa Vatske

(360) 725-4686

lisa.vatske@dshs.wa.gov