Freedom House is unique in its comprehensive approach to assisting those who seek asylum in the United States and Canada. We provide housing, food, clothing, legal aid, medical care, mental health care, English as a Second Language classes, education, job training, recreation, transportation, and offsite housing.

Food and shelter
Each year hundreds of people arrive at Freedom House seeking shelter and support, usually with little more than the clothes they are wearing. We do not turn away anyone who is eligible for asylum. 

Legal services
Freedom House staff provides assistance with applications for U.S. asylum, legal and safe entry to Canada, and family reunification. 

Social services
Many arrive at Freedom House highly traumatized both physically and mentally. Freedom House offers extensive social services, including medical and mental health care, to help residents begin to heal and acculturate. 

Education and job training
Freedom House helps residents develop marketable skills and employment plans that enable them to be financially independent by the time they leave our program. 

Offsite housing
Residents with employment authorization and/or asylum status may receive continued support as they progress toward financial independence. We help our clients with rent, household establishment, and other tasks as they adapt to their new country. 

Public education
Freedom House is committed to educating the public about the plight of refugees. Staff, board members, residents and volunteers speak to a wide variety of organizations and entities, and we welcome cultural exchanges and site visits.


2016 In Review

Clients Enrolled

Enrollment: 136 total clients

  • 92 new clients (enrolled in this reporting fiscal year)
  • 44 carry-over clients (enrolled in previous fiscal year)

Length of Stay

  • Total days enrolled: 15,200
  • Average clients served per day: 42
  • Average length of stay: 217 days
  • Clients who exited that achieved stable, permanent housing: 91%

Offsite Housing:

  • 14 apartments
    • 8 for new clients (entered offsite housing this reporting fiscal year)
    • 6 for carry-over clients (entered offsite housing in previous fiscal year)
  • 19 clients
    • 9 new clients (entered this reporting fiscal year)
    • 10 carry-over clients (entered in previous fiscal year)

Household Composition: 113 total households

  • 103 without children (108 clients)
  • 10 families (28 clients)

Age and Gender

  • 118 adults: 63 men and 55 women
  • 18 children:10 boys and 8 girls

26 countries: Afghanistan, Angola, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, The Gambia, Guinea, Jordan, Kenya, Liberia, Mexico, Mozambique, Palestine, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Sweden (child born to African mother), Syria, Tajikistan, Uganda, United States (babies born to women while enrolled at Freedom House), Zimbabwe. (Click here for map.)


Program and Service Delivery Outcomes

Freedom House clients work toward the following goals in order to achieve self-sufficiency:

  • Stabilizing health through medical, behavioral health, and other holistic programming (e.g. nutrition classes, YMCA, yoga)
  • Submitting asylum application and gaining asylum seeker status
  • Obtaining Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and securing employment
  • Exiting Freedom House into stable, permanent housing

To help clients achieve these goals, staff practices trauma-informed, client-centered case management designed to encourage client’s active involvement in the development of his or her case plan. Below are program and service delivery highlights that guide clients towards self-sufficiency.  

  • 14,172 total units of supportive services:
    • 4,995 classes on cultural and ethnic enrichment, life skills, financial literacy, job preparation, education, and GED classes
    • 3,121 English as a Second Language classes
    • 2,689 healthcare appointments
  • 2,855 total units of legal aid:
    • 26 U.S. asylum applications submitted
    • 6 interviews at our regional Asylum Office (Chicago, IL)
    • 55 Employment Authorization Document applications submitted
    • 16 asylum approvals
    • 106 applications for Canadian refugee claimants
    • 211 units of legal aid to Freedom House alumni


Volunteer Contributions

Our many partners and volunteers donate their skills, talents, and expertise to Freedom House.  Volunteers facilitate new connections and deepen existing relationships with community and civic groups, faith communities, and schools and universities.  This year, necessary in-kind resources such as paper products, toiletries, cleaning supplies, and food staples, helped sustain our day-to-day operations. Further, pro-bono professional services enabled Freedom House to continue to provide quality, comprehensive services free of charge to asylum seekers enrolled in our program.   In 2016, 298 volunteers provided 6,486 total hours of service, including:

  • 1,879 hours of English as a Second Language instruction
  • 788 hours of administrative support
  • 1,460 internship hours
    • 835: Program department
    • 625: Legal department
  • 222 hours of medical health and wellness sessions

- View 2016 Year In Review report.
- View 2015 Year In Review report.
- View 2014 Year In Review report.

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