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Refugees / Advocates

Adjustment of Status

Refugees are required by law to apply for lawful permanent resident “green card” status one year after entering the United States as a refugee. 
For more information about http://www.uscis.gov/greencard.

The adjustment of status medical examination must be conducted by a civil surgeon who has been designated by the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

For the most current list of civil surgeons:
1) Link with the Civil Surgeons Locator, or https://egov.uscis.gov/crisgwi/go?action=offices.type&OfficeLocator.office_type=CIV
2) Call the National Customer Service Center at 1 (800) 375-5283. Select either English or Spanish, choose #5 for medical examinations from the list of six automated options. You will be asked to key in your zip code to help determine the list of designated civil surgeons.

Cultural Competence


Office of Cultural Diversity and Enrichment is located at the Indiana State Department of Health and recognizes the need to develop cultural competency for all health care professionals.  For more information, link to: http://www.in.gov/isdh/21053.htm

Office of Minority Health is located at the Indiana State Department of Health and focuses on improving the health of Indiana’s minority communities through increased awareness, partnerships, and the development and promotion of effective health policies and programs that serve to reduce minority health disparities. For more information, link to: http://www.in.gov/isdh/23551.htm.

Cultural Competence Resources for Health Care Providers

Ambassadors for Children (AFC), 3620 North Washington Blvd Indianapolis, Indiana 46205, impacts world peace and understanding through face-to-face cultural exchanges. AFC trips provide hands-on interaction with disadvantaged children, balanced by opportunities for sightseeing and immersion in the native culture of the community served.  For more information, http://www.christianvolunteering.org/org/ambassadors-children.jsp#fq=content_type:opportunity


State Resources
About Special Kids (ASK) A state parent to parent program for families of children with special needs that provides information, support and education to families and professionals.  ASK has programs that provide information about health care financing options, special education and child care for children with special needs.  For more information about services for children with special needs, call 800.964.4746 or 317.257.8683 or link to: http://www.aboutspecialkids.org.

Center for Youth and Adults with Conditions of Childhood (CYAAC) This program provides assistance and consultative care to youth, young adults and adults with disabilities and serious chronic illness as well as their families in the transition from pediatric to adult health care, from school to employment, and from home to independent living.  For more information, call 866.551.0093 or 317-948-0061 or link to http://www.eskenazihealth.edu/our-services/center-for-youth-and-adults-with-conditions-of-childhood .

Indiana Resource Center for Families with Special Needs (IN*SOURCE) IN*SOURCE is a statewide network that provides parent to parent support and information about resources for children and youth with special needs, especially in the area of special education and related services. For more information about IN*SOURCE, call 800.332.4433, or link to:  http://www.insource.org/

The Arc of Indiana The Arc is a statewide network of families and providers who care for children and adults with intellectual and other developmental disabilities. Services include systems advocacy as well as information and support to families, adult consumer, and communities. For more information about the Arc’s statewide network, call 800.382.9100 or 317.977.2375, or link to:  http://www.arcind.org/

National Resources
Family Village A national information resource for families of children with special health care needs, which has an extensive, easy to use website of resources that integrates information, resources, and communication opportunities on the Internet for persons with cognitive and other disabilities, for their families, and for those that provide them services and support. Information is available on specific diagnoses, communication connections, adaptive products and technology, adaptive recreational activities, education, worship, health issues, and disability-related media and literature. For more information about the Family Village and to search their online library, go to: https://www.eikids.com/in/matrix/search/centdir/nat.asp#health

National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY) is a center that provides information on disabilities in children and youth; programs and services for infants, children, and youth with disabilities; IDEA, the nation's special education law; No Child Left Behind, the nation's general education law; and research-based information on effective practices for children with disabilities. The focus is children and youth (birth to age 22). For more information, go to: http://www.parentcenterhub.org/

Health Care Financing

Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA), Division of Family Resources, County Offices. Most refugees who resettle in Indiana are members of families with minor children who qualify for the same cash and medical assistance programs available to other low-income state residents.  To apply for public assistance programs like Hoosier Healthwise, Hoosier Insurance Plan (HIP), TANF and Food Stamps contact the county office of the Division of Family Resources.  For county contact information, link with http://www.in.gov/fssa/dfr/2999.htm

Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH), Children’s Special Health Care Services Indiana Children’s Special Health Care Services (CSHCS) provides supplemental medical coverage to help families of children who have serious, chronic medical conditions, age birth to 21 years of age, who meet the program’s financial and medical criteria, pay for treatment related to their child’s condition.  For more information, call 800.475.1355 or link with: http://www.in.gov/isdh/19613.htm.


Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA) and Refugee Medical Assistance (RMA) Assistance is provided to needy refugees who do not have minor children in the home.  These benefits, which are federally funded, are available for the first eight months after a refugee arrives in the country.  These benefits are provided through the county offices of the Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA), Division of Family Resources.  Resettlement agencies usually assist refugees in applying for these benefits.

Legal Services

State Resources
Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation offering pro bono legal representation and preventive law education to low income families, including immigrant families. Clients in the greater Indianapolis metro area must have income at or below 125% of the federal poverty guidelines. For more information, please call 317.429.4131 or link to: http://www.nclegalclinic.org/


State Resources

* Aurora Inc.
1100 Lincoln Avenue
P.O. Box 74
Evansville, In 47701-0074
Phone - 812-428-3246
Fax ? 812-428-3253

* Catholic Charities of Ft. Wayne, Refugee Services include pre-arrival processing, arrival services, assistance with housing, referrals for medical care, acculturation, referrals for ESL (English-as-a-Second-Language) classes, school enrollment for the children, and other education services as needed.

Catholic Charities of Ft. Wayne
315 East Washington Boulevard
Fort Wayne, Indiana 46802
(260) 422-5625 or (800) 686-7459 toll-free
(260) 422-5657 fax
General delivery e-mail: fwoffice@ccfwsb.org

Catholic Charities of Indianapolis, Refugee Resettlement Program has resettled refugees in the Indianapolis area since 1975. Services include reception and placement, employment, financial literacy, job placement, counseling and referrals.  For more information, see: http://www.archindy.org/cc/refugee/
Catholic Charities of Indianapolis
1400 North Meridian Street
Indianapolis, IN  46202
317-261-3375 (Fax)
Toll-free: 800-382-9836 Ext. 1500

Exodus Refugee Immigration is part of a network of affiliates that work with Church World Service Immigration and Refugee Program (CWS/IRP) and Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM) in the resettlement of refugees from all over the world in Indiana. Once a refugee case is assigned to CWS or EMM by the Refugee Processing Center in Arlington, Virginia, Exodus works in partnership with religious groups and community groups to welcome and assist the refugee in becoming self-sufficient neighbors in Indiana. For more information about programs and services which include, employment, English as a second language, employment workshops, family reunification, reception and placement, please link to http://www.exodusrefugee.org/.

Exodus Refugee Immigration
Indianapolis Office
2457 East Washington Street
Indianapolis, IN 46201
Tel. 317.921.0836
Fax 317.921.1992

Social Services

State Resources

Family Helpline (IFHL), Indiana State Department of Health The IFHL is a helpline where bilingual communication specialist provide comprehensive information and referral services including, but not limited to, maternal and child health, WIC, dental providers, shelter, food, utility assistance, literacy, vocational and GED programs. For more information about the program, link to: http://www.in.gov/isdh/21047.htm

Indiana 211Partnership (IN211) is a membership organization, comprised of nonprofit and government organizations that “provide or support information and referral.” The members, also called Partners, include local human service providers, several divisions within state government and other member organizations, representing 64 United Ways/Funds, over 50 comprehensive and specialized I&R programs, and 16 area agencies on aging. Public may call 211 from any telephone in communities where the service is offered.  For more information, please contact: http://www.in211.org/

Ft. Wayne, Indiana

Community Resource Center for Refugees The Center houses programs operated by eight agencies to help address an unprecedented surge of over 4,000 refugees from Burma arriving in northeast Indiana with tremendous needs.  Agencies at the center providing services for refugees include: Advantage Health Solutions, The Burmese Advocacy Center, Catholic Charities, Family & Social Services Administration, The Reclamation Project, Super Shot, the Neighborhood Christian Legal Services Clinic and the Foundation’s Healthy Homes & Lead Poisoning Office. http://www.poorhandmaids.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=200&Itemid=82

Burmese Advocacy Center was formed in February of 2008 by an assemblage of individual volunteers who had consistently providing social assistance to the growing Burmese population of Fort Wayne. Programs include self-sufficiency, employment, education and health coordination programs. The Burmese Advocacy Center also provides free cultural education to businesses, agencies, and other community groups. Bi-lingual website.  For more information, please contact:

Burmese Advocacy Center
2826 South Calhoun Street
Ft. Wayne, Indiana  46807

Indianapolis, Indiana

Asian Services of Indiana (ASI), c/o David Russell, 10 West Market Street, Suite 700, Indianapolis, Indiana [46204] offers referral services, social services and health education specially targeted at all Asians and refugees in need. For more information, please call 317.513.8467 or 317.373.7638.

Immigrant Welcome Center is located at the John H. Boner Community Center, 2236 East Tenth Street, Indianapolis, IN [46201-2006] and is an evolving resource for the growing community of immigrant newcomers to Indianapolis. With a spirit of helpfulness, the Center will connect these newcomers to the resources and services, including the Natural Helpers Program. For more information, please call 317.808.2340 or link to: http://www.immigrantwelcomecenter.org/

Jewish Community Center Assoc of Indianapolis – Acclamation, 6701 Hoover Rd., Indianapolis [46260] Offers a counseling network and cultural training assistance for recent Russian refugees. Provides shelter and basic needs. Offers translation services and free biweekly English as a Second Language classes that are targeted towards new Americans and older adults.  For more information, please call 317.251.9467 or link with: http://www.jccindy.org.

Muslim Alliance of Indiana (MAI) is dedicated to connecting Hoosier Muslims through a statewide network of centers. MAI provides a common platform for presenting Islam, supporting Muslim Hoosier communities, developing educational, social and outreach programs and fostering good relations with other religious communities, and civic and service organizations.  For more information, link to: http://www.indianamuslims.org.

Rangzen House (International Tibet Independence Movement) PO Box 592, Fishers [46038] Offers an avenue for Tibetan refugees to immigrate and settle in Indiana while maintaining ongoing efforts to secure independence from China for Tibet. The Rangzen House will help refugees locate housing, facilitate vocational and educational opportunities and training, find employment, and help access social services, legal and medical agencies. For more information, please call 317.579-9015 or contact rangzen@aol.com.