IRIS-Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services
235 Nicoll Street
2nd Floor
New Haven CT 06511
Contact Information
Address 235 Nicoll Street
2nd Floor
New Haven, CT 06511-
Telephone (203) 562-2095 x
Fax 203-562-1798
E-mail info@irisct.org
Web and Social Media
Mission
The mission of IRIS is to enable refugees and other displaced people to establish new lives, regain hope, and contribute to the vitality of Connecticut’s communities. Refugees are men, women and children who fled their countries of origin due to persecution on the basis of their race, nationality, religious belief, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.
 
According to international law, refugees are those who have a "well-founded fear of persecution" and are unable to return to their countries without risking violence to themselves and their families, including torture and death. They are granted special immigration status according to international law. Each year the US government invites a small number of them- 70,000 in FY13- to start new lives, or "resettle," in this country. The front-line work of resettlement is done by local agencies like IRIS. IRIS works intensively with refugees, particularly during the first year of their resettlement, to help them build lives of their own choosing in the US. IRIS also serves the larger immigrant community through its Food Pantry.  Through outreach, advocacy, and public events, IRIS educates the community about the refugee experience and issues of national and international importance that touch all of our lives.
At A Glance
Year of Incorporation 1982
Former Names
IRM- Interfaith Refugee Ministry
Organization's type of tax exempt status Public Supported Charity
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years Yes
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Chris George
Board Chair The Reverend Peter Bushnell
Board Chair Company Affiliation Episcopal Church in Connecticut
Financial Summary
 
Projected Revenue $1,422,793.00
Projected Expenses $1,495,472.00
Statements
Mission
The mission of IRIS is to enable refugees and other displaced people to establish new lives, regain hope, and contribute to the vitality of Connecticut’s communities. Refugees are men, women and children who fled their countries of origin due to persecution on the basis of their race, nationality, religious belief, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.
 
According to international law, refugees are those who have a "well-founded fear of persecution" and are unable to return to their countries without risking violence to themselves and their families, including torture and death. They are granted special immigration status according to international law. Each year the US government invites a small number of them- 70,000 in FY13- to start new lives, or "resettle," in this country. The front-line work of resettlement is done by local agencies like IRIS. IRIS works intensively with refugees, particularly during the first year of their resettlement, to help them build lives of their own choosing in the US. IRIS also serves the larger immigrant community through its Food Pantry.  Through outreach, advocacy, and public events, IRIS educates the community about the refugee experience and issues of national and international importance that touch all of our lives.
Background
In 1942, the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut created Episcopal Social Service, Inc. (ESS), a not-for-profit affiliate that engaged in social justice and human services work throughout the state. In 1982, ESS decided to begin resettling refugees, reflecting the longstanding history of faith communities worldwide providing safe havens for refugees. The ESS resettlement program was first called Interfaith Refugee Ministry. In 2007, reflecting a decision to make the agency more inclusive- in practice, there is nothing "religious" about IRIS as an organization- the board of directors voted to change the name to IRIS-Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services. IRIS is a non-sectarian, federally recognized refugee resettlement agency affiliated with two national organizations that work directly with the U.S. Department of State on refugee admissions: Church World Service and Episcopal Migration Ministries.  Since 1982, IRIS has resettled more than 5,000 refugee women, men and children.
 
Each year, the US government admits 70,000 - 75,000 refugees; IRIS welcomes about 200 of them to Greater New Haven. IRIS’s current clients come from several countries including Iraq, Eritrea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan, Cuba and Sudan. They range in age from a few months to over 80 years. According to federal law, refugees coming to the US must be placed with a local agency like IRIS. Upon arrival, refugees face the daunting tasks of adjusting to this country, enrolling their children in school, learning English, taking care of their health needs, and finding jobs. IRIS collaborates closely with refugees throughout their resettlement process, at least until they reach financial self-sufficiency and sometimes longer.
 
Initially, IRIS meets the basic needs of refugees, including furnished housing, food, clothing, medicine, and other essentials.  IRIS provides intensive, culturally competent case management; English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) instruction for adults, with an on-site Early Learning Program for toddlers; educational and youth services; health care coordination; employment services; immigration legal services; citizenship preparation class; and a weekly food pantry for refugees and other immigrants.
Impact

Enhanced Governance

In 2011, IRIS’ Board development efforts have brought increased enthusiasm and energy to the agency. In addition to doubling the number and diversifying the composition of its members, the board created committees—including Development, Nominating, and Finance—which met at least ten times. Several board members help plan IRIS’ public events, while others represent IRIS at local meetings.

 

Increased Private Donations

IRIS increased private donations 14% over last year, not including income from special events. In 2011, 211 new donors contributed to IRIS and 46 previous donors increased their annual donation. IRIS recognizes the need to continue increasing unrestricted donations, in the face of increased costs and the pressures of the recession; this is one of the most important goals of the current strategic plan.

 

Increased Public Awareness

In 2011 IRIS received an all-time high number of invitations to make presentations about refugees. Although there is more work to be done in this area, it is safe to say that IRIS is gradually becoming a “household name” in greater New Haven. IRIS continued its efforts to raise awareness and educate the public about refugee resettlement. Through 43 presentations, including a variety of speaking engagements and large public events, IRIS reached more than 2,200 people.

 

Refugee employment
 
With the hiring of a part-time Employment Outreach Specialist, the scope of IRIS’ employment program expanded dramatically. The number of local area employers who hire IRIS clients has grown from about 12 to 25 over the past year. The importance of this increased outreach to the success of local refugee resettlement cannot be overstated.

 

Goals

Educate the public about the refugee experience, and resettlement in New Haven.

Engage volunteers in refugee resettlement.

Create a culture of evaluation within the organization.

Increase the amount and diversity of new private funding.

Strengthen IRIS’ governance and management to support above goals.

Needs

Evaluation and Accountability Measures:  Although IRIS has made significant improvements in its services, we need to improve our documentation of impact; develop outcomes measures, as well as document the overall results of our integrated services, that is, how quickly and how thoroughly refugees become self-sufficient and engaged in their communities.

 Maintain an institutional spirit of dynamism:  IRIS must continue to experiment, take programmatic risks, be creative, attract staff and board members with fresh and diverse ideas, maintain an agility and a spirit to respond to new needs and opportunities, and develop new partnerships.

Early Employment for Refugees:  Preparing refugees for jobs and finding employment opportunities for our clients, has always been a challenge.  We need  to compress this job search process into a shorter period of time- 3 or 4 months- which would have great benefits for clients, IRIS, and the community.

Reserve Fund:  IRIS needs to rebuild our reserve fund and cover the costs of providing high quality services to new Americans.

Office space: IRIS needs new office space in New Haven. The ideal space will provide an additional 2,000 square feet of space (for a total of about 6,000 square feet) and would be handicap-accessible.

CEO Statement

A refugee from Iraq who had recently arrived in New Haven was asked, “of all the things you needed when you arrived in the US; housing, employment, education, food, healthcare, etc., what did you need the most?”

His answer; “Respect.”

In the seven years I have been the director of IRIS, I have worked with nearly 1000 refugees. The nationalities have changed, programs have grown, services improved, staff have come and gone, the challenges and frustrations and joys raise and lower our spirits, and we never have enough money to do what we need to do. But, through it all, we have treated refugees – our newest Americans – with respect.

Welcoming persecuted people to the United States and helping them start new lives is our nation's oldest and most noble tradition. The basic goal of refugee resettlement is to save lives. The bonus, for Americans, is that refugees enrich our lives. Refugees bring remarkable skills and experiences. They help to internationalize our perspective on the world, and they strengthen our economy. 

Visit the IRIS office one day and you’ll meet new Americans and get a feel for the international and respectful environment we’ve created. My colleagues are professional and polite. Everyone is culturally sensitive. And you will always be offered coffee or tea. You might hear me deliver a pep talk to refugees. “If you want Americans to respect you”, I feel I have said a million times. “You need to work hard.” 

Greater New Haven is a welcoming community, partly because it respects diversity and appreciates hard work. But the cost of living is high and jobs for refugees with limited English are scarce.  Also, there are still many people in the community who do not know what a refugee is. 

In order to successfully resettle refugees in Connecticut, IRIS must educate the general public, raise significant private funds, and attract a wide range of support from volunteers and organizations.  But, as I explain to our refugee clients, “I cannot stand up in front of a group – whether it’s a rotary club or a house of worship – and ask people to help you, unless you are helping yourself.” 

Refugee resettlement is a tough self-help program that demands a lot from the refugees, people who have already been through a lot just to get here. Starting a new life in a new country will always be a struggle, but with broad support from the greater New Haven community, IRIS can provide high quality services and treat refugees with the respect they deserve.


Board Chair Statement

 In the past two years, the Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services Board of Directors has made a concerted effort to add significantly to the number of our Directors.  In that period of time, we have added nine new members to the Board, bringing the total to fourteen.  This new strength in numbers has enabled us to begin to function with Board committees.  We now have committees for Governance, Finance, Development, Legal Services, and Nominations; with descriptions of responsibilities for each.  With the completion of this phase of Board development, it is understood that the agency bylaws will need to be updated, as it has been many years since the last revision.

In mid-2011, the Board initiated a new process for strategic planning, which continues even now.  The goal-setting phase is complete with unanimous approval by the Board.  Objectives are still being set, with assignments for responsibility, and dates for completion.

The work of IRIS continues to be a source of pride, satisfaction, and excitement for me on a personal level.  For over three decades, I and congregations served by me have participated in the work of welcoming and helping to resettle refugees in Connecticut.  Some fifteen years ago, my current parish sponsored a family of five persons from Kosovo through IRIS.  As we came to know about them and their extended family back home, we realized that they had left a family business and network of support behind in coming to the United States.  They were glad to be here, but missed everyone and everything they had left behind.  Despite a good start in Connecticut, and employment that was able to sustain them, when the opportunity arose, they opted to return home.  They were sad to leave us, and we missed them greatly.  

Several years later, we were surprised and overjoyed to discover that this family decided, when their children were old enough to pursue higher education, to move back to Connecticut as immigrants.  It was a result of their experiences as refugees that them that they were persuaded to return to the United States in the best interests of their children, and the opportunities they would find here.

I continue to experience refugees as wonderfully adaptive people with strong survivor mentalities.  They are some of the most ambitious and hard-working people I have ever known.  Refugee resettlement always is one of the most satisfying causes I can imagine investing in, and I am proud of and humbled by the amazing commitment of our staff, volunteers, Board members, and donors.

 

Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Human Services / Ethnic/Immigrant Services
Secondary Organization Category Public & Societal Benefit /
Areas Served
New Haven
West Haven
East Haven
The IRIS offices are in the East Rock neighborhood of New Haven, and many refugees are resettled there, as well as in the surrounding neighborhoods, including Dixwell and especially Fair Haven, due to the location of the Newcomers program at Fair Haven School. Some refugees are also resettled in West Haven and Hamden. Occasionally, when community groups join with IRIS in co-sponsoring refugee families, a few refugees may be resettled in other CT towns, most recently Guilford, Milford, Brookfield, and West Hartford.
CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments
Programs
Description
Case management lies at the heart of IRIS programs and services.  Every refugee family is assigned a case manager to coordinate basic needs-- including housing and benefits--and help the family craft plans for its future.  At IRIS, case managers are the first point of contact for every refugee and play an important role in easing refugees' transition into US culture and society.  IRIS has four full-time staff members in case management.  The case management budget includes direct financial assistance to refugees, including one-time federal grants.
Population Served Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees / At-Risk Populations / Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.
In the short term, IRIS tracks refugees' financial self-sufficiency, measured by the % of refugees who obtain employment within the first 90 days and 180 days after arrival, and the rate of job retention. Their ability to navigate systems, such as transportation, independently; their skill in speaking and understanding the English language, as measured by ELT assessments; and their overall health and well-being, as documented by our health and wellness program, are also measured.
Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.

IRIS participates in a global humanitarian effort to save lives. This is the agency's core work and, in a certain sense, is an end in itself. When refugees successfully start new lives here, they become active, contributing members of our society, helping to diversify the community and strengthening the workforce. Volunteers who help to resettle refugees, including faith communities and others who act as "co-sponsors" of refugee families, engage in acts of hospitality, small and large, that transform their lives and perspectives.

Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.
IRIS measures success by evaluating the overall well-being of individual refugees and family units on many different levels. The primary tool is the client's case file, in which all records of IRIS integrated services are maintained. Staff takes a team approach, meeting every Monday morning for a thorough case review and actively sharing information throughout the week. IRIS's national affiliates (Church World Service and Episcopal Migration Ministries) and the federal Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration regularly visit IRIS to conduct site visits, review records, and meet privately with clients and staff. IRIS adheres to all resettlement guidelines and often exceeds federal standards.
Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.
In 2000 Rena, a refugee from Iran, fled religious persecution with her husband and three young children. The family worked intensively with IRIS during their first two years of resettlement and gradually became self-sufficient. After ten years of studying, working, and caring for her family, Rena is now a U.S. citizen and works as a nurse. Her children are academically outstanding high school students, and her husband works in his chosen field. By supporting Rena's family--and many others like them--in their early years in the U.S., IRIS helped them to fulfill their potential and become fully contributing member of society.
Description
Adult refugees are legally authorized to work immediately upon arrival in the U.S. The IRIS Employment Services program is designed to foster early self-sufficiency. The employment team works one-on-one with every employable refugee to help them find and keep jobs. Many refugees, including highly qualified professionals, accept entry-level positions as a first step toward building a new life for themselves and their families in the U.S.  The IRIS team helps refugees formulate long-term employment goals, such as training and/or recertification in their chosen fields, while emphasizing the importance of demonstrating a strong work ethic.  Employment staff members, with the Executive Director, cultivate relationships with current and prospective employers in the region.  The employment department is staffed by a full-time Employment Services Manager, a part-time Employer Outreach Specialist, a part-time English for Employment instructor, and several volunteers and interns.
Population Served Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees / International / Adults
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.
75% of employable adult refugees will be self-sufficient within one year of arrival.
50% of jobs obtained will pay above minimum wage.
50% of employable refugees will obtain jobs that offer benefits.
Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.
America is a nation of immigrants, and IRIS is proud to be working with our newest neighbors as they rebuild their lives in the U.S. Employment--especially early self-sufficiency--is a major factor in refugees' successful resettlement in the U.S. IRIS strives to help refugees find and keep sustainable employment because this is what will help refugees build productive, healthy lives. Sustainable employment leads to financial stability, which helps everyone in a family--the adults, the children in school, and the newborn baby with developmental and nutritional needs. Employment improves marital and family relationships and helps refugees integrate into the larger community. In the long term, the employment program--like all of IRIS's programs and services--is designed to help refugees build happy, stable lives of their own choosing in the U.S. and to contribute to the vitality of our city, state, and nation.
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.
To measure success, the employment team tracks applications submitted, interviews granted, offers received, and employment gained. Employers and clients are interviewed to gather feedback on the quality of IRIS services.  Case managers track data pertaining to client financial self-sufficiency. When clients are gainfully employed, they no longer need rental assistance from the agency, an important measure of self-sufficiency.
Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.
Nuhad came to the US from Iraq with some of the greatest challenges any refugee can face.  She arrived in July; a single mother with four children – a teenage son who she couldn’t trust to care for her three younger daughters. Perhaps even more challenging, Nuhad did not speak a word of English. Over the course of a few months she made great progress. Her English skills improved, she relied less and less on her daughters for translation, and she gained confidence. Nuhad was eager for any job but had the additional hurdle of needing to be at home in the afternoon to care for her young daughters. 
She persevered and was able to obtain a first-shift position in a    physically demanding local manufacturing job. She demonstrated the pride of someone who was impressed with her own abilities. Unfortunately, she was laid off after only two months, but IRIS was able to help her find a second, better paying, factory position. If IRIS's contacts in the business community--and donor support had not been available to help Nuhad with her housing and other challenges, she wouldn’t be where she is now:  a single mother with immense obstacles who’s succeeding in spite of them.
Description
Refugees come to the U.S. with a variety of physical and mental health care needs. The IRIS Health and Wellness Program supports refugees of all ages in obtaining high-quality medical care. The program's chief partner is the Primary Care Center (PCC) at Yale-New Haven Hospital, which provides health assessments and follow-up care to all refugees at the adult and pediatric Refugee Health Clinics. These clinics are staffed by Yale Medical School residents under the supervision of an attending physician. The IRIS Health and Wellness Program Manager provides medical case management, communicates with medical providers, arranges for interpreters, and runs health and wellness education sessions for clients. Volunteers often accompany refugees to doctor's appointments, serving as interpreters and advocates for them.
Population Served Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees / Families / At-Risk Populations
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.
75% of adult refugees will receive their federally mandated health care assessment within 30 days.
90% will of refugee families will establish a relationship with a primary care physician within the first six months after arrival.
50% of adult refugees will be medically cleared and employable within 4 months.
100% of refugee children will receive primary care assessments and immunizations within 45 days.  No child will be removed from school due to a failure to meet medical requirements. 
Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state. In the long term, the Health and Wellness Program helps refugees obtain good health and teaches them to navigate the healthcare system and advocate for themselves once they are no longer receiving IRIS services.
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact. Delayed health care can interfere with a refugee's ability to become employed, causing major setbacks in the resettlement process. For this reason, IRIS has linked its health and wellness and employment outcomes. The Health and Wellness program is working well when adult refugees find and keep jobs, and when children enroll in school in a timely manner and are able to participate fully in school activities. 
Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.
Since 2007, the Yale-New Haven Primary Care Center (PCC) has run weekly Refugee Health Clinics for adults and children.  Residents from the Yale School of Medicine and attending physicians from Yale staff the clinics, and in 2010, the clinic rotation has now become a part of the ambulatory medicine curriculum at the school. This partnership has been a great success, enabling 200 IRIS clients annually to receive high quality, culturally competent health care quickly and efficiently.
Description
The IRIS Education and Youth Services Program encompasses three programs: (1) Academic support and enrichment activities for K-12 children and their parents; (2) the English Language Class for adult refugees; and (3) the Early Learning Program for refugees ages 1-4 whose parents are enrolled in the IRIS English class. Most adult refugees speak limited or no English and must improve their English before they will find jobs. Some children have never attended a school; others come from families in which education is highly valued. Upon arrival, few refugee children speak English and must adjust quickly to the social and intellectual demands of school in the U.S. The program trains parents to be active participants in the education of their children. Fortunately, children learn languages quickly and are adept at making friends. To see children succeed in school--and develop friendships with peers from all over the world--is one of the most rewarding aspects of work at IRIS.
Population Served Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees / Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) / At-Risk Populations
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.

100% of students enrolled in the program improve their level of English language proficiency.

Refugee students in after-school programming demonstrate a 10% academic improvement (one grade level) from one year to the next.

90% of students enrolled in the program will demonstrate growth towards proficiency on curriculum assessment.

90% of students enrolled in the program improve their attendance rates over a two-year period.

100% of students enrolled in the program improve their social adjustment.

50% increase in refugee student participation in school activities such as student council.

Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.
Many refugees tell IRIS that they came to the U.S. for their children. The ultimate goal of IRIS's REFS program is to maximize the children's ability to succeed socially, emotionally, and academically.  The program helps children and their parents understand the community, access support systems, and take advantage of educational opportunities. The ultimate goal is to help children pursue their dreams and build secure and happy futures. At the same time, IRIS helps adults learn English through its on-site English language class. IRIS collaborates with New Haven Adult Education to provide this class and offers free child care to young children so their parents are able to participate without interruption.
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.
IRIS has developed relationships with area public schools that refugees attend. The Education Coordinator makes regular contact with teachers, administrators, and the district ESOL department. The IRIS team mobilizes to help when there are problems within families or with individual students. The Education Program tracks overall student wellness, parent participation in parent/teacher conferences, and, to the extent possible, keeps up-to-date on student attendance, grades, and test scores. In the on-site English class, the professional teacher tracks attendance and monitors progress by testing students at regular intervals.
Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.

Ishara is a Congolese refugee, resettled by IRIS in late 2010, when she was 16. IRIS education and youth services assisted Ishara with in-school and after-school tutoring, and also provided parent orientation to her mother. Over the two years she has been here, Ishara’s English has dramatically improved and has allowed her to provide translation assistance to many other IRIS clients in need of help. While she has been diligently working towards her high school diploma, Ishara has made time to participate in after school programming here at IRIS and to give back to the refugee community. Ishara has participated regularly in extracurricular trips and has enabled her younger cousins to attend by chaperoning them when their parents are working. When her busy schedule allows, Ishara has been eager to help newly arrived refugees in any way she can, including taking new refugee students entering her high school under her wing.

Ishara is now a senior at Wilbur Cross High School in New Haven, where she excels academically, consistently earning high grades and high honors, even while balancing her academics, extracurricular activity and a part-time job. Her academic performance has earned her admission to the Outstanding High School Senior Program - a highly competitive program awarded to candidates in the top 10% of their class and which allows her to leave high school and attend 4-5 college classes during the spring semester of her senior year. This spring, Ishara was notified of her acceptance into Quinnipiac University, where she will be going in the fall of 2013, as well as several other colleges, where she would like to study gynecological medicine. 


Description
In 2007, to address Connecticut's growing need for high quality, affordable, and accessible legal services for refugees and immigrants, IRIS launched its legal clinic, initially to serve underrepresented immigrants in court, as well as provide onsite status adjustment services and citizenship classes. Today, IRIS no longer provides court representation but has strengthened its efforts to provide onsite legal services.
 
The mission of IRIS' Legal Services program is to enhance refugees' integration by helping them adjust their status to permanent residency, reunite with their families, and ultimately become US citizens. An attorney serves as the program director and counsels all clients. She supervises a team of volunteer attorneys, law students, and other interns.  The program serves approximately 100 clients at any one time. 
 
Population Served Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees / At-Risk Populations / International
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.
All IRIS refugee clients apply for permanent residency within one year of arrival.
All IRIS refugee clients who are eligible for family reunification, submit the appropriate family petitions.
75% of former refugee clients in New Haven apply for naturalization.
Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.
95% of refugee client applicants achieve permanent residency status.
75% of refugees who file petitions for family members are reunited with their loved ones. 
75% of naturalization applicants gain US citizenship.
 
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact. The IRIS Legal Services director keeps standardized case files on all clients and tracks the progress of their cases in a customized spreadsheet. Data measures include approval by US Citizenship and Immigration Services of status adjustment (green card/permanent residency) petitions, family/ relative petitions, and citizenship applications.
Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.
Tsion and her young daughter are Eritreans who arrived in the US in 2005, having spent three years in a refugee camp in Ethiopia. Tsion's two daughters were left behind in Ethiopia. Tsion worked hard in a series of hotel and factory jobs to support herself and her daughter. In 2006, IRIS Legal Services helped her become a permanent resident.
Four years later, Tsion successfully completed an apprenticeship program and became a carpenter. After hours of civics classes, and three attempts at the difficult written text, she became a proud US citizen in 2011. Finally, after six years of waiting, Tsion could try to bring her family to the US. IRIS' Legal Services Director helped her file family relative petitions, including DNA tests and financial affidavits, and arranged interviews for her daughters at the US Embassy in Ethiopia. Finally, in November of 2012, Tsion was reunited with her daughters, now grown, whom she hadn't seen since they were 9 and 7 years old.
Program Comments
CEO Comments Every day, we ask ourselves and our clients: what do refugees--new Americans--need in order to start new lives in this country? Our programs, and the way we operate them are a result of that question. We are not content to provide only the bare minimum that is required by the federal guidelines under which we work. We strive to create a welcoming, tolerant, and respectful environment for refugees and design programs to meet their unique needs. Over the years, we have learned from our clients that housing, education, health care, and legal services require extra attention during the process of adjusting to a new country. These programs cost more and require more community support, so we have had to raise more funds, develop a strong volunteer program, and form partnerships.
CEO/Executive Director
Mr. Chris George
Term Start May 2005
Email cgeorge@irisct.org
Experience Chris George has worked in international development, human rights, and refugee assistance for more than 30 years. He began his international experience as a Peace Corps Volunteer and served more than 20 years in the Middle East managing programs for Save the Children, American Friends Service Committee, Human Rights Watch, and USAID.  He has worked extensively with refugee populations, directed a legislative strengthening project in the Palestinian territories, and was Executive Director of Human Rights Watch - Middle East.  Since 2005 he has served as the Executive Director of IRIS. 
Co-CEO
Experience
Staff
Number of Full Time Staff 10
Number of Part Time Staff 12
Number of Volunteers 200
Number of Contract Staff 1
Staff Retention Rate 87%
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 1
Caucasian 20
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 5
Female 18
Unspecified 0
Senior Staff
Title Deputy Director
Title Employment Services Manager
Title Director of Case Management
Experience/Biography

Alexine previously held senior management positions at a childcare-focused international NGO in Morocco, for 7 years.

Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation No
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency N/A
Non Management Formal Evaluation No
Non Management Formal Evaluation Frequency N/A
Collaborations

IRIS is fortunate to have many excellent collaborations throughout the Greater New Haven region and beyond. Faith communities--churches, synagogues, and mosques--are among the agency's most important partners. Some (like BEKI synagogue in Hamden and First Congregational in Milford)  commit to "co-sponsoring" a refugee family, sharing the core resettlement work with IRIS and providing limited financial support to their newly-arriving family. Many non-profit organizations provide direct client assistance, including the Yale-New Haven Hospital Refugee Health Clinic, CT Mental Health Center, Connecticut Food Bank, New Haven Diaper Bank, Yale Refugee Project, Apostle Immigrant Services, and many others.

 Some organizations, including the PIER/MacMillian Center, Collective Consciousness Theater, Quinnipiac University, University of New Haven, Yale University and other local groups work with IRIS to provide community outreach and education. IRIS views refugee resettlement as a collaboration and highly values its partnerships with a wide variety of community organizations.

Affiliations
AffiliationYear
United Way of Greater New Haven2010
Connecticut Association of Nonprofits2010
Comments
CEO Comments The strategic plan developed by board and staff in 2004 has been the blueprint for IRIS's development since then.  IRIS conducted another strategic planning session in August 2011, and is in the process of drafting and approving an updated strategic plan.
Board Chair
The Reverend Peter Bushnell
Company Affiliation Episcopal Church in Connecticut
Term Jan 2014 to Mar 2015
Email rector_holytrinity@sbcglobal.net
Board of Directors
NameAffiliation
Andrew Cohen Attorney, The Law Office of Andrew A. Cohen, LLC
Anthony DiSalvo Ph.D.Chairman, Regional Water Authority
Alexandra Dufresne Staff Attorney, Center for Children's Advocacy; Lecturer, Ethics, Politics, & Econ. Dept., Yale University
Asma Farid Vice President, Netsolace
Scott Harding PhDAssociate Dean for Academic Affairs & Associate Professor, University of Connecticut School of Social Work
Dr. David Hesse Member, Department of Urology, Yale School of Medicine
Kaveh Khoshnood Ph.D.Associate Professor, Yale School of Public Health
Rosalie Mutonji Community Volunteer
Andrew Ruben Yale Law Student & Co-founder, Blue State Coffee
Kiran Zaman Program Developer (Artist, Educator), Eli Whitney Museum
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 2
Caucasian 7
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 1 Iranian-American
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 7
Female 4
Governance
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Written Board Selection Criteria Under Development
Written Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 27%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Standing Committees
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Finance
Nominating
Board Governance
CEO Comments
Prior to 2005, most board members were from the Hartford area -- a reflection of the organization's roots in the Episcopal Diocese.  IRIS has recently expanded the board to include members from the Greater New Haven area.  In 2011, 8 new members joined the board.  Today, almost all board members are from the New Haven area.
 
 
Financials
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01 2015
Fiscal Year End Dec 31 2015
Projected Revenue $1,422,793.00
Projected Expenses $1,495,472.00
Spending Policy N/A
Other Documents
Other Documents 3
NameYear
Employment Mentor Fact Sheet2013View
Detailed Financials
Prior Three Years Revenue Sources ChartHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201320122011
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$544,246$420,838$330,912
Government Contributions$761,107$761,868$606,584
Federal------
State------
Local------
Unspecified$761,107$761,868$606,584
Individual Contributions------
------
------
Investment Income, Net of Losses$69$16$54
Membership Dues------
Special Events------
Revenue In-Kind------
Other$19,819$19,942$14,050
Prior Three Years Expense Allocations Chart
Fiscal Year201320122011
Program Expense$1,007,166$1,052,035$837,585
Administration Expense$89,476$73,528$75,999
Fundraising Expense$72,271$55,581$28,990
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.131.021.01
Program Expense/Total Expenses86%89%89%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue6%5%3%
Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities Chart
Fiscal Year201320122011
Total Assets$345,247$175,079$188,592
Current Assets$328,926$162,818$173,330
Long-Term Liabilities------
Current Liabilities$102,377$88,537$123,570
Total Net Assets$242,870$86,542$65,022
Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201320122011
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountChurch World Service $283,348Episcopal Migration Ministries $320,733Church World Service $195,097
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountEpiscopal Migration Ministries $251,419Church World Service $237,052Episcopal Migration Ministries $148,707
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountState Dept. os Social Services $214,591State Dept. of Social Services $131,818DSS $121,554
Solvency
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201320122011
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities3.211.841.40
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201320122011
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Capitial Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Comments
CEO Comments
The difference between the current fiscal year projected income ($1,422,793) and expenses ($1,495,472) is temporarily restricted donations from earlier years that will be released from restrictions.
Foundation Staff Comments

This profile, including the financial summaries prepared and submitted by the organization based on its own independent and/or internal audit processes and regulatory submissions, has been read by the Foundation. Financial information is inputted by Foundation staff directly from the organization’s IRS Form 990, audited financial statements or other financial documents approved by the nonprofit’s board. The Foundation has not audited the organization’s financial statements or tax filings, and makes no representations or warranties thereon. The Community Foundation is continuing to receive information submitted by the organization and may periodically update the organization’s profile to reflect the most current financial and other information available. The organization has completed the fields required by The Community Foundation and updated their profile in the last year. To see if the organization has received a competitive grant from The Community Foundation in the last five years, please go to the General Information Tab of the profile.

Address 235 Nicoll Street
2nd Floor
New Haven, CT 06511
Primary Phone 203 562-2095
Contact Email info@irisct.org
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Chris George
Board Chair The Reverend Peter Bushnell
Board Chair Company Affiliation Episcopal Church in Connecticut

 

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