USA for UNHCR: The UN Refugee Agency
“I never thought that I would be overseeing a shelter in close coordination with so many amazing colleagues,” says Kate Clark, Senior Director of Immigration Services at Jewish Family Service (JFS) in San Diego, California. An immigration attorney, Clark oversees JFS’s legal services providing support and education to people seeking asylum in the United States. But for the last four years, she has also played an instrumental role in building JFS’s asylum shelter network.
“As an immigration attorney, being able to take a step back and realize that legal needs are just a slice of what a person may need… it has been an incredible experience to be able to serve and assist someone who is a new arrival to our country.”
Jewish Family Service opened its shelter in 2018 and has relied on a strong collaborative relationship with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, to establish protocols and implement best practices when sheltering people fleeing war, violence and persecution. “The partnership with UNHCR has been instrumental in our success,” says Clark. “Jewish Family Service was stepping into this new area of programming and… we wouldn’t be where we are today without the partnership.”