Outreach for Immigrants
Help New Immigrants Learn to Read, Write and Speak English
The Literacy Council of Montgomery County provides three days of volunteer training at local libraries, and will assign students to tutors following the training. For more information call 301-610-0030 or email www.literacycouncilmcmd.org. Two other programs are located at County Libraries. One program teaches students one-on-one how to use language software. The other, a Conversation Club, gives students of English a chance to practice their speaking skills. For more information about training and schedules call any Public Library.
Resources for Immigrants
We have developed a Resource List of resources in the community who do not ask immigration status before asking assistance. A notebook with this information is at Ascension House for use by Mobile Med clients. These resources include:
Casa of Maryland
734 University Boulevard East, Silver Spring MD 20903
CASA’s website states: “CASA’s Legal Program, operating out of offices in Baltimore and Silver Spring, seeks to improve the quality of life and legal justice for Latinos and low-income families through legal education, legal services, and advocacy projects. We offer legal consultations and representation for day laborers, domestic workers, and tenants. We negotiate claims and bring lawsuits in state and federal courts for nonpayment of wages; minimum wage and overtime violations; unlawful wage deductions; discriminatory employment practices; retaliatory discharges; and involuntary servitude. We also provide legal assistance to low-wage tenants and tenant associations on landlord/tenant issues. In addition to direct representation, CASA performs outreach to inform workers about essential workplace rights and strategies to protect themselves. We go to non-traditional hiring halls, such as street corners and parking lots, to inform workers of their rights and encourage them to seek redress for violations.
CASA provides information about the availability of basic social services such as free or low-cost medical programs, mental health care, legal services and emergency shelter. We also provide information and refer clients to government and private social service programs for which they and their families may be eligible. Our organization assists clients who have problems receiving assistance and benefits. CASA also translates and notarizes legal documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, school transcripts and other important papers. We also supply INS forms and help clients complete them, including fingerprints.
CASA’s Employment Program places workers in day, temporary, and permanent jobs that pay a living wage. CASA’s Workers’ Centers are recognized as a national model in addressing the employment-related needs of low-income immigrants.
CASA of Maryland’s Health Program works to address public health and primary care needs in the community. This includes health education and improved access to screening and treatment services for HIV, cancer and tobacco use prevention. Our model of education utilizes popular education methodology to train community health promoters who are trusted by their peers. We provide on site HIV counseling and testing services two times per week and primary medical care one day per week. CASA also addresses the need for improved access to medical treatment by providing a bilingual telephone health line to inform community members of available services and to help them navigate the system. Additionally, CASA provides medical interpreting services for limited English speakers.
Congregations can help by donating to “Building for the Future,” by hiring workers from the Workers’ Centers, and by engaging in various advocacy campaigns.”
How Gaithersburg HELP serves those in need:
- FOOD… HELP provides a three-day supply of food based on family size from our local food pantry by appointment.
- INFANT NEEDS… HELP provides diapers and infant formula for short- term emergencies.
- PRESCRIPTIONS… HELP assists with emergency medical needs such as medicines.
- TRANSPORTATION… HELP assists with transportation to medical appointments and social service agencies.
- OTHER FINANCIAL NEEDS… HELP considers other emergency needs on a case by case basis to help families over a short period crisis.
- SUPPORT AND REFERRAL… HELP listens and offers guidance to identify other resources that clients may access during the stress and confusion of an emergency. This includes referrals for rent, utility bills, clothing, and furniture needs.
Gaithersburg Help does not inquire about immigration status, merely proof that the person seeking help resides in the area they serve. They do partner with area churches (including Ascension.)
Hans Rosenfeld Upcounty Interfaith Clothing Center
620 E. Diamond Ave., Suite M
Provides clothing, small household goods, school supplies and diapers.
Donation hours are Mon., Wed. and Fri. from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.; Thurs. 9:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m., and Sat. 9:00 a.m. –3:00 p.m.
(There is also a location in Rockville. Phone: 301-424-3796)
MobileMed at Church of the Ascension
MobileMed provides low-cost/free medical care to uninsured patients.
- Hours of operation: Every Tuesday beginning at 8:30 AM (Full day)
- Mobile Med has several other walk-in sites in Silver Spring and Rockville. For more information call MobileMed at 301-493-2400
Manna Food Center
Manna provides food for referred persons who live in Montgomery County every 30 days. Recipients must get referrals from Gaithersburg Help or another agency. Applicants should not go directly to Manna. Some agencies will not refer undocumented people, although Gaithersburg Help does not ask for documentation. More information about Manna is at Mannafood.org.
Spanish Catholic Center
(There is also a location in Silver Spring – 12247 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20902 | (301) 434-8985).
- Offers immigration services, and classes in employment and ESL.
- Employment classes are Mon., Tues, Thurs, and Fri. at 8:00am
Immigration presentation: Every Wednesday at 12:15 pm. The class costs $30.00, but is free of charge to low-income families. We as a church can write a letter explaining that a family is low income. The Center will waive the fee for the class. `The immigration class is conducted in Spanish and covers the basics of becoming a permanent resident, setting up power of attorney, and dealing with raids or arrests. Amy Yergey is the person to speak with about immigration concerns.
The location in SIlver Spring has a walk-in class every Thursday, which is taught in English, and can conduct individual immigration consultations by appointment.
St. Martin’s Catholic Church Food Pantry and Soup Kitchen
The St. Martin’s Food Pantry distributes non-perishable food items to needy families every Monday throughout the year, including holidays that fall on a Monday. The Pantry’s Monday food distribution starts with the giving out of numbers for places in line, beginning when the Pantry volunteers arrive about 5:45 am Monday morning. Distribution of food begins at 10:00 am and closes at 11:30 am.
The Lord’s Table Soup Kitchen
The Lord’s Table serves hot nutritious meals daily Monday through Saturday, September to June at 3:30 pm in the Church Hall.
Upper Montgomery County Assistance Network
Holy Cross Hospital Primary Care Health Clinic
The clinic, which opened in 2009, is affiliated with Holy Cross Hospital.
The clinic provides medical care, annual screenings, chronic disease management, behavioral health services, preventive care and health education. At this time, services are by appointment only, and for uninsured adults only. Most clients are from Montgomery County, but they do see clients from Prince George’s County and even Virginia. Clients need to bring proof of income and proof of residency. The clinic does not ask about documentation. The clinic will assist in applications for financial assistance.