IRC Baltimore | WYPR

IRC Baltimore

The International Rescue Committee works with refugees and other immigrants with low incomes who want to put down roots here by buying a home.  We speak with Nahlah Melaih, (center),  who coordinates Individual Development Accounts at the IRC. She explains what immigrants learn about financial terminology, building a credit score, setting up a budget to amass a downpayment and qualifying for matching funds. Then we meet two refugees who have done all that work -- Hamida Ebadi (left) from Afghanistan and Adote Akwei (right),  an asylee and community organizer from Togo, on Africa’s west coast.

Dominique Maria Bonessi


Tucked into a corner off Eastern Avenue in Highlandtown, there are Latino-owned restaurants, blacked-owned barbershops, and one small grocery store owned by an immigrant-Nepalese family that opened in 2013.

Farrah Arnold/Courtesy the International Rescue Committee

The last week and a half has been a rollercoaster for refugees, and the organizations that work with them. First there was President Trump’s executive order on immigration. It immediately suspended entry into the U.S. of people from seven countries, all majority Muslim, for 90 days. The ban also suspended entry of all new refugees for 120 days and Syrian refugees indefinitely. Then, last Friday, a federal District Court judge in Seattle issued a temporary restraining order blocking key elements of the order. Some refugees and other immigrants resumed traveling. The Trump Administration appealed. The federal court of appeals for the western U.S. is set to hear arguments this afternoon

Jamyla Kay

Every year more than 50,000 refugees and asylees enter the United States, and hundreds resettle in Maryland. 

On today’s edition of The Checkup, we hear from refugees and service providers about the changes to refugees' healthcare and the unique health challenges that many face.