The Hope Refugee Drop-In Center is open by appointment only. To schedule an appointment or ask a question, please call us at 716-881-0539. (Mondays are extremely busy for us. If you call us and cannot get through on any day, please call again.)
Due to COVID-19, it’s recommended that one person comes for the appointment.
Our focus at Hope is strongly rooted in providing tools for self-empowerment for refugees and immigrants who now call Buffalo home. The Drop-In Center provides non-traditional case management. Utilizing a participatory development model, clients identify their own needs and Hope helps provide a path to meet those needs. Sometimes this means filling out forms or showing clients how to do it on their own. We handle everything from interpreting WIC checks, paying bills, and filling out job applications to medical appointments and requesting translation services. Hope’s staff members are culturally diverse caseworkers and interpreters who help connect clients to available resources within the community.
Hope has become an active voice in the community by strengthening relationships among those that are equally dedicated to assisting a similar population. Some of our partnerships include community health worker training, participation in domestic violence awareness, good tenant trainings, partnerships with ethical landlords, and providing access to resources for parents of school-aged children.
Our community partners are typically at Hope, providing clients with a variety of additional services, on the days and times listed below. During the COVID-19 crisis, these partner visits are on hiatus, but you can still reach out to them directly for support.
Immigration Consultations – Consultations are by appointment only on Thursdays from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. (We make every effort to accommodate requests for a consultation outside of this time frame if it is needed.) Call 716-881-0539 to schedule.
- Appropriate for anyone who would like advice regarding U.S. citizenship, green cards (adjustment of status), U.S. asylum, travel documents and re-entry permits, and U.S. work authorization.
- Our program serves low-income individuals; however, anyone can schedule a consultation.
Center for Elder Law and Justice – on-site appointments are canceled until further notice but CELJ has a helpline you can call (1-844-481-0973). The line is open to all NYS residents, regardless of age or income level. The helpline is staffed Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. Callers contacting the line outside this timeframe are encouraged to leave a voicemail and an attorney will return the call. Alternatively, you can email email@example.com.
- Appropriate for seniors seeking information or help with guardianship, advance directives, elder abuse, consumer protection, housing, foreclosure prevention, and long-term care.
- Employment services are offered by the International Institute of Buffalo at Hope on an as-needed basis. Clients who are interested in connecting with IIB’s employment services should inquire with their case manager or call the Drop-In Center
Frequently Asked Questions
A refugee is a person who fled their homeland, crossed an international border, and cannot return home due to fear of persecution or death. A refugee has a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.
Refugee status is a specific legal status granted by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and is recognized by the United States. Refugees entering the country through the resettlement program are legal immigrants.
Refugees are the most screened immigrants entering the United States. Refugee security screenings are done at both the international and national levels. There have been no incidents of domestic terrorism by refugees.
Refugee processing is an international bureaucratic process that takes several years to complete. First, one is granted status and resettlement by the United Nations. Each government that accepts refugees decides annually the number of refugees that they will take. In the United States, our president announces the number of refugees that we will take every September. Cases are then distributed from the United Nations to the U.S. State Department. The State Department works with a number of national agencies called Voluntary Agencies (Volags). These Volags take responsibility for the cases and redistribute them to local partners across the country. In Buffalo, we have four resettlement agencies (Catholic Charities, International Institute of Buffalo, Jewish Family Service, and Journey’s End Refugee Services) that represent five national Volags.
Buffalo has two major attractions for refugee resettlement. First, we have a lot of entry level jobs. Second, we have cheap housing for both renting and home ownership. Resettlement across the country has moved toward sending refugees to mid-sized cities, rather than large cities.
An immigrant is any person that moves from one country to another. Refugees are a specific category of immigrant that meets the above qualifications. All refugees are immigrants, but not all immigrants are refugees.
At Hope, we focus on refugees who are past their resettlement period. The resettlement period lasts between three and six months. During this time, refugees are still actively working with their resettlement agency. If you are unsure if a person qualifies, you can call us or have your referral call us and we will screen for eligibility.