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Press Release

Local Group Offers New Program for Refugees

ArCS Cluster Expands Services Offered by Volunteers in Arlington, Cambridge and Somerville


Arlington, MA – November 13, 2018   The Arlington, Cambridge and Somerville (ArCS) Cluster of RIM, which provides support for local refugees and asylum seekers, has expanded its programs to encompass 18 individuals.  In addition to its hosting program, it now offers a Passages program focused on providing short-term support to refugees not housed by the Cluster.


The Passages program is designed to provide immediate assistance focused on an individual’s specific needs.  A team of three volunteers coordinates services such as help connecting to food pantries, finding clothing and household goods, accessing health care, identifying vocational services, and even getting children registered for school. Volunteers also orient refugees to the local area and assist with transportation needs.  The team meets with the client at least four times and continues to provide services if appropriate.


Jennifer O’Brien of Arlington, who currently volunteers in the Passages team, has been working with a local refugee from Uganda for the past eight months. “Our team has helped him with transportation to and from medical appointments, connected him with local donors for some material needs, and gone out with him to the movies,” says Ms. O’Brien.  “It’s wonderful to see the difference we can make in the life of an individual trying to establish themselves in our community. But the personal connection has been the most meaningful.”


Eric Segal, a co-founder of the cluster, notes, “The Passages program allows us to extend the important work we do to support refugees and asylum seekers beyond only those that we are able to host.  We are leveraging the expertise we have built and a volunteer base of over 200 people in Arlington, Cambridge and Somerville to make a life-changing impact for refugees we serve.”


The ArCS Cluster has kicked off its Fall Giving campaign, with a goal of raising $10,000 toward the delivery of its ongoing programs, including the Passages program.   Supporters can make a donation to the ArCS Cluster Giving campaign at


About the ArCS Cluster of RIM


The ArCS Cluster of the Refugee Immigration Ministry (RIM) mobilizes local volunteers who want to make a difference in the lives of refugees and asylum seekers in Arlington, Cambridge and Somerville, providing practical help, emotional support and financial assistance to individuals and families throughout their journey to establish themselves in a new community.  For more information visit https:///




Laura Cook

ArCS Cluster of RIM

Email: arcsclusterinfo @


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