ACC's mission is to help refugees and immigrants rebuild safe, sustainable lives in Denver.
At ECDC ACC, we believe everyone deserves a safe place to call home. Every day, we welcome refugees and immigrants from all over the world to Colorado, ensuring that basic needs are met and a meaningful journey towards integration begins. We believe that helping individuals fleeing persecution is not only the right thing to do but that it helps Denver build a rich, diverse, and vibrant community.
A few examples of ACC's impact during FY2017:
-1,735 Individuals received services
-394 Individuals who secured jobs
-91% of these placements were full-time with benefits
-92% of those who obtained jobs retained the job for at least 90 days, an all-time organizational high
-22 the number of different countries individuals resettled from
-$150,000 worth of scholarship funds awarded to refugee youth since 2005
Refugees come to the U.S. after years of untold horrors and after decades of living in refugee camps. Yet, refugees come with incredible hope for a safe, sustainable life in their new home. Often arriving with only a few personal items and few, if any, connections, ACC helps refugees establish their first apartment and help create friendships between Denver residents and newcomer refugees. Some of ACC's greatest needs relate to these necessities:
• Monetary donations to support any ACC's programs
• Items to help fill a refugee's first Denver home (blankets, dining room tables & chairs, toiletries)
• Volunteers to help welcome and befriend newcomer refugees
• School supplies to get kids ready for their new classroom
• Winter clothes (hats, gloves, and coats)
This year has been a particularly difficult year for refugees -- globally as well as locally. The world has become more complex, with the numbers of humans being displaced growing almost daily because of conflict, ethnic violence, persecution and fear. We continue to advocate that our country offers hope to the persecuted through the U.S. Resettlement Program. This program-a demonstration of American commitment to human rights- literally saves lives and enriches our small corner of the world.
Our partnership with new refugee community members begins when they arrive at Denver International Airport. This relationship quickly grows as our staff and volunteers assist refugee families as they navigate new systems, a new language and a different culture. We provide services to refugees for up to 5 years after arrival, helping with everything from welcoming new babies and helping adults find jobs, to sending youth to universities and helping families plan to buy homes. We see successes and we see challenges, but through it all we embrace the new community members that have joined us here in Colorado, and work hard to build reciprocal relationships where teaching and learning is happening in tandem.
We at ACC feel privileged to welcome the stranger and help them develop into contributing, vibrant members of our community. We ask others in our community to join us in welcoming these newcomers to make our community stronger for all.
"I love the community of people that gather here to support each other."- Joanne Webb
"I am a volunteer at ACC and think the services provided by staff for refuges are outstanding. These services include orientation to the Denver community, location of housing, enrollment in food stamps, job search support, enrollment for children in schools and many others. Staff members are highly competent and dedicated in their efforts to help refuges who have come from difficult situations to a new place to live. I have been impressed with the compassion and dedication of the staff to help the refuges find a new life for themselves and their families. I have found this to be one of the most rewarding volunteer experiences I have had." -Dolly
"The staff here really pulls together to provide as many resources as possible to incoming refugees and even have crisis support services and special services for single mothers. They also offer employment services such as job club and work one-on-one with job specialists to secure employment within 4-5 months of arrival. A truly amazing and hard-working team!" -Abigail H.
"The ACC community is a place where all feel welcome and wanted! Employees always go above and beyond to help others and build partnerships in the community. While sometimes governmental funding can put barriers on their work, those who work and volunteer at ACC seek to find ways to persevere and continue to be a gathering place for people from around the world to thrive." Christina P.
"This organization is amazing. We have partnered with them to help people find jobs, and the ACC support of their clients is spectacular."- Lisa J.
"This is a very nice place there are good people who helps people in need I am extremely happy with their good manner I wish I could do like them."- Bereket T.
"I have had the opportunity to support ACC in a number of different ways, whether as volunteer, staff, or donor. I truly admire the leadership of this organization and their heart for helping the refugee community in all ways possible." -Adrielle S.
"They were very helpful to me whenever I needed it. Thank you."- Rohullah K.
ACC was established in May 2001 by our parent organization, the Ethiopian Community Development Council. ACC began with only 3 staff members resettling 60 refugees. Fast-forward to today - now we have a staff of 30 employees who serve over 1,700 refugees and asylees each year.
ACC's vision is to be an integrative center of multicultural exchange where community members feel a sense of belonging and actively contribute to an inclusive society.
Belonging: We foster security and trust by building welcoming and diverse communities based on relationships of reciprocity.
Empathy: We offer friendship, compassion, and understanding to individuals from all communities.
Imagination: We are committed to creative pursuits that exceed the status quo.
Integrity: We consistently exhibit honest and just actions that affirm our promises.