On Monday, September 24, 2018, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services awarded Tacoma Community House—one of 40 agencies across 19 states—a prestigious grant of $250,000 over a two-year period. USCIS awards funding opportunities to faith-based and community nonprofit organizations that have extensive experience with preparing Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) for naturalization. The grant also promotes prospective citizens’ assimilation into American civic life by funding educational programs designed to increase their knowledge of English, U.S. history, and civics. All services provided with this funding are completely free to the public.
TCH’s Immigration program provides comprehensive naturalization services including application assistance and citizenship education, Lawful Permanent Residency, first time applicants, as well as renewals, work authorizations, petitions to reunite families, and other affidavits and waivers. TCH is recognized by the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Legal Access Programs, and is staffed by caring and culturally sensitive individuals who provide daily one-on-one support.
Established in the settlement house tradition in 1910, TCH’s mission is to create opportunities for immigrants and other community members in the Puget Sound region. The programs and services that will directly benefit from this grant will include naturalization application assistance and citizenship education.
According to the USCIS website, Washington is one of the top 10 states with the most naturalization recipients and refugee arrivals. In 2017, TCH served 3,566 clients, of which 1,841 directly benefited from immigration services (TCH’s 2017 Annual Report). Our goal is to continue supporting as many immigrants in the Puget Sound area as possible and provide the opportunity for eligible LPRs to easily navigate the naturalization application process and access the citizenship education program.
“This is the third time TCH has been awarded this prestigious federal grant,” says Liz Dunbar, TCH Executive Director. “The new award confirms the outstanding work of all program staff including accredited case managers and instructors. Over the span of previous grants, TCH completed and submitted over 420 applications for naturalization and served close to 500 students in its citizenship classes. With the new funding, we are looking forward to continuing serving eligible LPRs from different parts of the world who now call Puget Sound their home!”