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Here at Immigrant Assistance, we may have changed strategies, but not our goals! We now have a couple of months under our belt having switched from in-person to online togetherness. We are still working on the same issues, for the same reasons, but doing so safely from home. It is certainly weird and unusual in some ways, but just as joyful and surprising in the same old ways. We don’t know for sure what’s ahead and are deeply concerned about you and your loved ones, and especially all those who are the most vulnerable during these times. We aren’t going anywhere and will continue to work despite the barriers and hardships that may await us.

I want to especially thank everyone who has helped to it possible to continue supporting immigrants through this pandemic. You are each making a real difference whether you donated through GiveBIG, joined us as a new volunteer, prayed, advocated, or continued volunteering as a tutor or in other ways. Together, we are strong and resilient. Let me share a couple of quick updates about what we’ve all been up to over the past month.

ESL and citizenship tutoring pairs continue to meet over Zoom, Skype, and other platforms. Although naturalization clients are waiting for US Immigration and Citizenship Service to re-open, Patrick continues to help clients prepare their applications. Sayuko is researching online tutor training resources so we can start matching new tutors again. A new corps of volunteers is calling clients to check-in with them. Tania stays in touch with elder clients to make sure they have what they need, get accurate information, and learn about new resources. Patrick is calling clients to provide information and referrals regarding emergency relief services and Covid-19 resources. We are not currently enrolling new tutoring or naturalization clients, but a new Elder Integration group is being formed on Capitol Hill. There are limited opportunities for new volunteers right now, but lots of other ways to make a difference from home (see below). We continue to offer opportunities for prayer, learning about immigration issues, and advocacy in a variety of ways (see below!).

Here's just one example of how our volunteers and the clients we serve won’t be stopped. One of our tutors has started tutoring an 83-year-old citizenship student online. The client lives alone and is eager to get ready to apply for citizenship. There was a significant learning curve for both of them to start using Skype to tutor, but with the help of the client's son, they have been tutoring twice a week. The fact that her language skills are very basic and she is engaging in remote tutoring at her age is a success! Both she and her son are very grateful to have the chance for her to keep learning even during a pandemic.

Please know that you are all in our thoughts and prayers. Be safe and well!

Christopher J Koehler, MNPL
Director, St. James Cathedral Immigrant Assistance

GET ASSISTANCE 
Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network is offering assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Select the images (in English and Spanish) to get more information about their services.
Get assistance - English Get assistance - Spanish
WHAT WE'VE BEEN UP TO  OUR MISSION 
Farid Read Farid's story about the benefits of participating in our Elder Integration Program, and how it has helped him to feel more connected and find a job. We promote an inclusive society and advance justice for refugees and immigrants through education and advocacy; and help refugees and immigrants to achieve their dreams and more fully participate in the life of the community.
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804 Ninth Avenue Seattle, WA 98104 | 206-382-4511 | ckoehler@stjames-cathedral.org