Upon arrival, the initial resettlement process ensures that a refugees basic needs are met for at least the first three months. For any number of reasons, refugees may find they have need for support with issues related to basic needs such as food, housing, and clothing. The Capital Region has numerous resources available to help refugees and others with basic living issues when the need arises.
Food Pantries for the Capital District: Refugees are eligible to receive food stamps upon arrival in the United States. However, if there is an emergency food need, there are food pantries located throughout the Capital Region that can provide immediate assistance. For a complete list of member food pantries, click here.
USCRI Albany secures safe, sanitary housing for all incoming refugees in the Albany area. Yet, refugees often encounter many challenges associated with renting an apartment. Below are some helpful resources.
The Section 8 Home Program walks participants through the process of purchasing their first home, and offers them the opportunity to use their Section 8 rental vouchers to receive monthly mortgage payment assistance. Click the following links for information in your county: Albany, Scehenctady, Rensselaer, Troy.
Refugees often arrive with very few possessions and are not prepared for job interviews or cold weathers in the Capital Region. The following are are available to help them find affordable, appropriate clothing.
Blessingdales: Blessingdales offers clothing, household items, such as linens, small appliances, dishes, silverware, etc. Shopping hours for men are Tuesday and Thursday – 9:30 am to 11:00 am and 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm and women are Wednesday and Friday – 9:30 am to 11:00 am and 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm. However, special accommodations can be made by appointment only. Located at 95 Trinity Place Albany, NY 12202. For more information, call 462-0459.
Dress for Success: Dress for Success is part of a global movement for change, empowering women to obtain safer and better futures. They provide clients with professional attire to secure employment, and offer programs to build professional confidence and knowledge. Located at 333 Sheridan Avenue Albany, NY 12206. For more information, call 463-3175.
Grassroots Givers: Runs a community store located at 274 Washington Avenue (the old Washington Avenue YMCA), Mon-Thurs: 10 am –2 pm. For more information, call Roberta Sandler at 817-5921.
Trinity Alliance Family Neighborhood Resource Center: Located at 15 Trinity Place, hours of operation 8:30 – 5:00 pm, offers free clothing. For more information, call 459-5155.
Goodwill stores and donation centers are located throughout the capital region. They provide new or gently used items such as: toys; dishes; books; clothing; furniture; and electronics all available for purchase at a low price. Visit thier website for location informtion.
The New York State Office for New Americans (ONA) was launched in 2013 and assists newcomers who are eager to contribute to our economy and become part of the family of NY State. The foundation of the office is a network of 27 neighborhood-based ‘Opportunity Centers’ located throughout the State. These Opportunity Centers, hosted within existing culturally-competent, language-accessible, community-based organizations, provide new Americans with opportunities including ESOL classes, naturalization assistance, and informational seminars on entrepreneurship and other relevant issues. Additionally, each center is supported by a team of rotating attorneys, who are knowledgeable about immigration law. Furthermore, the New York State New Americans Hotline (1-800-566-7636) is a multi-lingual information center providing live assistance in more than 200 languages on general questions related to immigration and naturalization. USCRI-Albany operates the ONA Opportunity Center for the Capital Region. For more information about ONA services in the Capital Region, contact Martha Butler, ONA Program Coordinator at 518-459-1790 x8008 at the USCRI-Albany Office at 991 Broadway, Suite 223.
Salvation Army accepts donations of new or gently used home items, toys, books, clothing, furniture, and electronics that are availablef for purchase at a low price. They operate various store locations around the capital region.
School News Networks (SNN), provided by the City School District of Albany, is an e-mail alert system that also includes a text messaging option for emergency news. The system allows you to sign up for district-related information in up to 24 categories, including news and events from individual schools. You also can receive district-wide information about transportation, athletics and the Board of Education. Text alerts up to 140 characters are sent out regarding school closings, delays and other time-sensitive emergencies. E-mail notices provide the same level of information as well as more detailed notices about awide range of additional news and events. For more information, and to sign up, click here.
USCRI Albany accepts donated clothing, home goods, and various other items that are available to those is need, free of charge. Please visit or call the USCRI Albany office to donate or recieve items.
991 Broadway, Suite 223
Albany, NY 12204
Please consult our Refugee Mentor Manual (pages 14-19) for additional resources, or for more information or specific resources, vist the following pages:
Immigration & Citizenship