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A new grant from the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement aims to fill acute gaps in services for torture survivors in Maryland.

More than 10,000 refugees and asylees made Maryland their home from 2010 to 2014. Many of the new residents are survivors of torture. As they try to rebuild their lives in a new country, they have a host of needs, but often few places to turn to for help.

Now, three non-profits can do more. The Office of Refugee Resettlement grant jumpstarts the “Empowering Survivors of Torture” collaboration between Tahirih Justice Center, Asylee Women Enterprise, and Intercultural Counseling Connection.

Morgan Weibel“For so many survivors with few places to turn for help, this grant will be absolutely life-changing,” said Morgan Weibel, the Director of Tahirih Baltimore. “This unique partnership enriches our ability to respond to varied survivor needs, and it represents an innovative solution to a growing need.”

The grant will provide survivors with a range of services that are vital to recovery in the aftermath of torture and trauma, including temporary housing and health care, legal services, ESL classes, mental health counseling, and group therapy.

Through training and outreach, the project will also equip hundreds of Maryland-based professionals, including attorneys, mental health professionals, and law enforcement officers, with tools and resources to identify and support survivors of torture on the road to recovery.

“This funding will help ensure that torture survivors in our communities receive therapeutic services that support the process of healing, in conjunction with legal assistance and essential social support. Under the partnership, we will be able to respond effectively to the diverse needs of survivors, in close coordination and based on client-identified priorities,” said Lauren Goodsmith of Intercultural Counseling Connection.

Torture survivors from all over the world who now reside in Baltimore City and Baltimore, Howard, Montgomery, and Prince George’s Counties will be served through the grant of $247,000, which covers operating costs for the first year of the three-year project.

MEDIA CONTACT: Marlena Hartz | marlenah@tahirih.org | 571-282-6193

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