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We support the rights of immigrants and their families, giving priority to those who live or work on the Olympic Peninsula and immigrant detainees within Washington State, through access to legal services, standing witness, family support, community education and advocacy.
In this Newsletter:
Hold The Date: JCIRA's Next General Meeting
November 17, 5:00 - 6:30
 
Please join JCIRA for our General Meeting on November 17th where you will have the opportunity to hear about some of our projects in support of the immigrant community. Meet our Outreach Coordinator Natalia Durán, and find out ways you can be involved in this important work.
A Note from Outreach Coordinator Natalia Durán
Give Jefferson Coming Up Soon!

The annual Give Jefferson campaign, organized by Jefferson Community Foundation, will soon be underway. Once again JCIRA has been chosen as one of the organizations that donations can be directed too. Our goal is $10,000 specifically for the JCIRA Fund that provides direct financial aid to immigrant families with immigration costs, medical bills, rent, etc. Please stay tuned, we’ll be sending out information as soon as donations can be accepted at Give Jefferson. 

Thanks for your ongoing support, which is directly responsible for what JCIRA has been able to do on behalf of immigrant communities in this area.
Help for Those With COVID-19
Care Connect Washington, Olympic Community of Health
 
Have you tested positive for COVID-19? Live in WA State?  
¿Has probado positive de COVID-19?  ¿Vives en el estado de Washington?

Get free support during isolation and quarantine.
Obten apoyo gratis durante el aislamiento y la cuarentena.

Contact the COVID-19 Information Hotline at 1-800-525-0127, then press #
Llame al 1-800-525-0127, luego presione #

Up to $1500 in mortgage/rent and utility payments with no social security requirement.
Someone from either DOH, YMCA or NOHN will call within 48 hours to deliver groceries delivery or help fill out an application to get aid for rent/mortgage or utility payments.
 
For more information:
Olympicch.org/care-connect
care@olmpicch.org
360-302-6046
A Big Thank You to Chimacum Woods!
Those who missed the Days of Wine and Rhodies benefit at Chimacum Woods on September 24 and 25 missed a lot. There were bargains to be had with the native and exotic species of rhododendrons that this unique nursery offers—and 20 percent of the proceeds went to refugee relief. Sunlight filtered through stands of cedars and other evergreens, giving the mossy paths lined with rhodies a fairytale look. Visitors who toured the woodland gardens and greenhouses saw rhodies of all kinds, large and small, from all around the world. JCIRA and the Lutheran Community Services Northwest were the beneficiaries of the event, and we are very grateful for the support.
Find out more about the remarkable collection of rhododendrons at Chimacum Woods in the Port Ludlow-Thorndyke area and say “thank you” for their generosity.

If you missed the fundraiser, Chimacum Woods is open for beautiful woodland walks most days by appointment.  Call 206-383-2713 to arrange a visit.
Chimacum Woods
2722 Thorndyke Road
Port Ludlow, WA 98365
JCIRA Attends Forks Hispanic Heritage Festival

Several JCIRA folks attended the Hispanic Heritage Festival in Forks last weekend. This was the first Hispanic festival in Forks since the early 1990's, and was held at the Penninsula College Forks campus.  
 
There were lots of Hispanic people, many dressed in clothing from their native regions, games for kids, speakers, recorded and live music, dancing, raffles, and a big variety of Hispanic foods.
 
JCIRA Board member Carlos Osorio was there presenting the organization he works for, the North Olympic Healthcare Network, while serving Columbian food at the same time. 
 
We met or got reacquainted with several people from the Forks community and with other non- profit organizations, who, like JCIRA, had information tables.  The mood was joyful, proud and welcoming.  It was an inspiring day!

Mediterranean Blue
A Poem by Naomi Shihab Ny

(submitted by Polly Thurston)

If you are a child of a refugee, you do not
sleep easily when they are crossing the sea
on small rafts and you know they can’t swim.
My father couldn’t swim either. He swam through
sorrow, though, and made it to the other side
on a ship, pitching his old clothes overboard
at landing, then tried to be happy, make a new life.
But something inside him was always paddling home,
clinging to anything that floated —a story, a food, or face.
They are the bravest people on earth right now,
don’t dare look down on them. Each mind a universe
swirling as many details as yours, as much love
for a humble place. Now the shirt is torn,
the sea too wide for comfort, and nowhere
to receive a letter for a very long time.

And if we can reach out a hand, we better.

Opportunity for Spanish Speakers

Thanks to all who volunteered to help with the most recent ESL (English as a Second Language) class. We had a great response to the request for help, and right now, Nancy has enough new volunteers. However, we are considering a new related project that might be of interest. We’re just at the beginning stages of planning for what we’ve been calling “Conversation Circles.” These could take different forms. For instance, one idea would be an informal chance for Spanish speakers to practice their English with native English speakers. Another might be for a group of English speakers who would like to practice their Spanish. We had put these on hold because of COVID and may want to wait a bit longer to implement these in-person get togethers, but if you would like to be involved in planning for these, or serving as a volunteer or as a participant, please respond to jcirawa@gmail.com and let us know in what way you might like to be involved.
GOOD NEWS DEPARTMENT
 
Rocky Mountain Nonprofits Create Farming Community for Afghan Refugees
Nonprofit agencies in Denver are teaming up to allow Afghan refugees the chance to work together in local urban farms. The program seeks to build community among Afghan refugees and their new neighbors as well as provide fresh produce for the families. For more on this go to Rocky Mountain PBS.   

Subscribe to National Immigration Law Center Newsletter
Established in 1979, the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) is one of the leading organizations in the US exclusively dedicated to defending and advancing the rights of immigrants with low income. Members of the NILC believe that all people who live in the U.S. should have the opportunity to achieve their full potential. Keep up with their activities or subscribe to their newsletter here.

American Immigration Council Report: Building Bridges
The United States is in the process of reckoning with many forms of social division, but it is also facing a moment of immense possibility. See a Special Report: A Guide to Building Bridges and Meaningful Connections Between Groups from the American Immigration Council.  

More from the American Immigration Council: New Bill for Green Cards
A new bill would allow millions of immigrants to apply for Green Cards. On September 28, Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA) introduced a bill in Congress that would allow millions of immigrants who have lived in the United States for many years to become Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs). Click here for more information.

Immigration Film Fest
For nine years the Immigration Film Fest has shared the stories of immigrants—often produced by immigrants themselves. This year’s event ran from Oct.13-16, with screenings in Washington D.C. and online, showcased nearly 40. Check out the list of films here.

Diocese of El Paso Pledges to Help Venezuelan Migrants
The Diocese of El Paso, Texas, has pledged $100,000 to help shelters in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, cope with the new arrivals of Venezuelan migrants. "We are disappointed at the expansion of Title 42 to vulnerable Venezuelans," said El Paso Bishop Mark J. Seitz, CLINIC board member. Read more in this edition of the Border Report.

Immigrant Contribution to Expansion of Unions
Here's an issue seldom discussed: how immigrants have helped create and support union movements in the recent past, and how those efforts helped ALL workers. Central American immigrants in particular have helped expand the U.S. labor movement; read more on this here.

A Story of Care and Compassion

The author lives in Port Townsend and has volunteered to become the temporary guardian and care giver for an immigrant child during a family crisis. She explains her background and experiences in the following inspiring piece.  Note: all names have been changed to protect identities. 

I have been meaning to sit down and write this for a couple of weeks, but unexpectedly becoming the guardian of a 3.5 year old toddler has absolutely turned my world upside-down and now, five weeks in, we are slowly finding a balance. I have also been hesitant to write this because her story, we will call her Little B, is not my story to tell. But I will share my personal experiences, and hopefully it will inform you or perhaps inspire you to get involved, because many of us here in Port Townsend have the privilege to be able to make a real difference in someone’s life. 

As many of you who work in immigration and especially in asylum know, people’s stories are sometimes all they carry with them when they come to the U.S. Little B and her mother’s story is challenging and horrifying, but unfortunately not unique. 

I spent five months in 2019 working in Tijuana with an immigrant rights organization, Al Otro Lado, helping asylum seekers from over 60 different countries prepare to cross the border into the US to begin navigating the long, unjust and inhumane road to asylum. While there, I connected with some of the best immigration attorneys in the country, and hundreds of warm-hearted people who came down to volunteer as translators, legal assistants, medical volunteers, child carers, companions, witnesses and donors to the cause. I met an American volunteer, “Arthur,” and we became very close. Months after I left Tijuana he connected me with two asylum seekers he had sponsored who were living with him in Olympia, a mother and her baby daughter from Honduras. That was in the fall of 2019. Since then we have been tio and tia figures of varying capacities for Little B. 

At the beginning of this summer, Little B’s mother had a mental health crisis and is going through an in-patient PTSD and trauma program. For the next few months, and maybe longer, I am little B’s primary caretaker. 

I do not have children of my own, and never plan to, but now I am very much on toddler time. What an adventure. Thankfully, my full time job is pretty flexible and I had a lot of PTO hours saved up, because those first few weeks were an absolute doozy. Little B is a bright little light and I feel lucky to have this time with her: to help facilitate her learning, exploration and discovery; see her growth as she begins to find her autonomy and explore the word “no;" watching her lie on the floor screaming when she doesn’t get her way; witness her interacting with people on the street or at the Co-op as she greets them in English or Spanish and asks for hugs; and of course, to share so much love. 

Even though I am very new in town, I am fortunate to have a few close friends who have absolutely stepped up to help with childcare. Arthur comes up from Olympia sometimes, so I can have a few hours to catch up on work or shower…by myself, oh! the bliss!  And now the phrase “it takes a village” has an entirely new meaning for me. I am grateful to have been connected to the JCIRA for childcare support, and so Little B can have a few native Spanish speakers to spend time with. I am also grateful to the folks at the YMCA who have gone above and beyond to help find babysitters and funding, and of course to parents and grandparents who are models of endless patience, fun and love.

Little B will get integrated into her mother’s program in a couple of months, but until then, you will see me around town with a tiny curly-haired human in tow. Please say hi (especially if you have a kind dog for her to meet) and ask me about ways to get involved at the southern border, including donating to the Jefferson County Immigrant Rights Advocates group. 
 
Marie
FOR YOUR CALENDER
 
October 27:      Latinx Photo Project Documentary Screening (PT Library)
November 5:    Día de los Muertos (Finnriver Farm & Cider, see flyer below)
November 17:  Full Membership Meeting
November 21:  Tamale Time: Celebrate Fall (Brinnon Community Center, 1:30-4:30)

 
DONATE TO JCIRA!

Support our mission by donating to JCIRA, click on the word Donate or click Here to go to the donation page on our website.  Thank you for considering! 
COMMUNITY RESOURCES
Medical and Health

JC Mash (free clinic)
136 Water Street, Suite 109
PT, WA 98368   360-385-4268

JFC Express Clinic
834 Sheridan St., Suite B
PT, WA  98368   360-385-2204
 
North Olympic Healthcare Network
Two locations in Port Angeles
360-452-7891   www.nohn-pa.org
 
Jefferson Dental Clinic 
915 Sheridan
PT, WA 98368   360-344-1005
              
Ecumenical Christian Helping Hands Organization
1110 Jefferson St., PT, WA  98368
360-379-3246      www.echhojc.org
Food

All Food Banks: Jeffersoncountyfoodbanks.org

Quilcene Food Bank
294952 US 101
Quilcene, WA 98376
 
Tri-Area Food Bank
760 Chimacum Road
Chimacum, WA 98325
360-385-9462
 
Port Townsend Food Bank
1925 Blaine Street
PT, WA  98368 
 
Other Services
 
Dove House Advocacy Services
Advocacy, basic needs, housing assistance, and other resources for recent and past victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and general crime.
www.dovehousejc.org
1045 10th Street, PT WA 98368
Office and 24/7 Crisis Line: 360-385-5291
 
St. Vincent de Paul
Help with needs like food, gas, prescriptions, mobile phones/minutes, propane, utilities, medical/dental expenses, repairs, clothing and laundry.
https://svdpejc.org/ 
360-379-1325

Olympic Community Action (OlyCAP)
Provides assistance for all basic needs (rent, utilities, energy, prescriptions, gas, public transportation, etc.) for low-income households.
www.olycap.org
823 Commerce Loop    Quilcene, WA 98376
360-385-2571
Housing
 
Bayside Housing and Services
www.baysidehousing.org        
310 Hadlock Bay Road   
Port Hadlock, WA 98339              
360-385-4637
 
Jefferson County Emergency Shelter
Located in the basement of the American Legion 
209 Monroe St, Port Townsend, WA 98368
Regular hours 4:00 PM-8:00 AM 7 days a week. 
 
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JCIRA
PO Box 647
Port Townsend, WA 98368-0647
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JCIRA · PO Box 647 · Port Townsend, WA 98368-0647 · USA

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