Countdown to Kitsap Great Give 

Kitsap Immigrant Assistance Center KIAC

KIAC is committed to the well-being of immigrants and the development of a rich multicultural community. We work to empower, educate and integrate immigrants through advocacy and social justice.
It is KIAC’s mission -Family Services and Legal Services - to connect with the local community to “empower, educate and integrate immigrants through advocacy and social justice”. One dramatic case shows how this happens. After the Family Services Center had closed for the Christmas break, the legal program administrator received a call from the hospital about a Guatemalan family in distress. They had two children, had only been in the country a month and only spoke Mam. The mother was in the hospital and had given birth to a stillborn child. A KIAC legal program volunteer went to the hospital, calmed the parents and sought to make arrangements for the child. A Bainbridge funeral home and church immediately offered the family cremation and religious services. Cultural differences, however, made these arrangements a problem for the family. A Guatemalan community leader and longtime KIAC volunteer became involved. He arranged for funeral services and interment through a Belfair church, ensuring that the child was laid to rest according to the family’s religious traditions and in a place close to the family’s home. Guatemalan community members surrounded the family with support during the services. This family has a possible asylum case which KIAC will help them with once they have recovered from this tragedy. This was an incredible example of how our community institutions, businesses, faith communities and immigrant community all came together on short notice through KIAC to help a new family through a tragedy and start them on the road to integration.
The integration of immigrants into our community is a multi-faceted task that KIAC approaches through two major programs: - Family Services, which meets immigrant needs through referral, advocacy and instruction in a safe, immigrant friendly environment, and - Immigration Legal Services, which focuses on immigration status, reuniting families, representing persons in deportation proceedings and protecting immigrants from injustice. With increasing demand due to changes in national immigration policy, KIAC is focused on increasing capacity. Funds from the Great Give will be used ensure we train an adequate number of legal representatives to meet growing client demand. They will also be used to provide effective staffing and administration to support and extend the web of family services we provide. Specific KIAC services that will be supported by Great Give funds include: - Referrals to legal, domestic violence, and social and health services - Connections to English language instruction - Citizenship classes - Mentoring on American mores and daily living skills - On-site free medical and dental clinics - Green card and citizenship applications - Family immigration - Tax preparation and business license assistance - Representation of immigrants in court deportation proceedings.

3627 Wheaton Way
Bremerton, WA 98310

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