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  REFUGEE SERVICES

  (210) 222-1294 | 202 W. French Pl., San Antonio, TX 78212
  Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
   
 

Refugee Services provides housing, employment, language and acculturation assistance to refugees escaping war and persecution who have been resettled in the United States through the U.S. Department of State Programs. As the only refugee resettlement agency in San Antonio, Catholic Charities resettles more than 500 refugees each year in San Antonio, providing professional supportive services to help them on their path toward self-sufficiency.

Who are refugees?
Refugees are victims of war, persecution, upheaval, and religious and ethnic discrimination. They are forced to flee to other countries and leave their homes, families, friends, jobs and possessions so that they may keep their lives. Most refugees hope to return home and pick up their lives again…and many will when conditions change. For some refugees, though, the only hope is for resettlement in our country.

There are approximately 15.3 million refugees around the world, and it is estimated that 80 percent of refugees are women and children. Each year, the President of the United States establishes the U.S. refugee admissions ceiling in consultation with Congress and the Department of State Programs. For 2013, President Barack Obama set the admissions ceiling at 70,000 refugees – 0.46 percent of the total amount of refugees worldwide.

How We Help
Reception & Placement Services are provided to encourage refugees to achieve early economic self-sufficiency and promote cultural integration. Services include:

  • Arrival preparation - Apartment set up, furniture, food, clothing, and airport reception;
  • Initial Orientation - Education on life in America which covers employment, healthcare, childcare, transportation, American culture and laws, housing and safety;
  • Case Management – Comprehensive client assessment and assistance toward removing barriers to employment, self-sufficiency and community integration; and
  • Post-Arrival Follow-up - Employment and ESL services, health screening, school enrollment for children, and any additional cultural adjustment referrals as needed.

 

Refugee Employment Services prepare refugees to join the workforce by working with all eligible clients at their level of employability to empower them toward employment-based economic self-sufficiency. Our team equips clients with knowledge of American work culture and links them with available jobs. Working closely with employers, our employment team identifies and meets company staffing needs as well as develops job opportunities for refugees who possess specialized skills, experiences, and work histories.
Both English as a Second Language (ESL) and orientation classes are available through the Refugee Services Education Program. ESL Classes are provided to refugees to gain the language skills necessary to become self-sufficient in the United States. Education Orientation Classes include instruction on various topics and are designed to address the immediate needs of the refugee. Examples of some orientation topics may include work environment, shopping, personal hygiene, American education system, banking, housing and home maintenance, nutrition, etc.

For the past four years, approximately 200 refugee children each year have impacted the local San Antonio public school system. Many of these students have never been to school and have never learned to read and write. They have fled their home countries and come to the U.S. looking for safety. The School Impact Program provides after school tutoring for refugee children and supportive services for families to help promote effective integration, education, and a successful transition into the American public school system.

With access to federal and state funding for refugees, Refugee Services is able to provide supplemental financial assistance to refugees while they acclimate to their new lives in the United States. Refugees, victims of human trafficking or individuals with Cuban or Haitian parolee status may be eligible for only one of the following services:

  • Supplemental Assistance Services – Through federal Match Grant funding, supplemental financial assistance is provided to families of three or more, from enrollment to the 180th day from arrival in the United States. Clients enrolled in this program are provided with employment, language and acculturation support throughout enrollment in order to ease the transition from arrival to self-sufficiency.
  • Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA) – Through state funding, financial assistance is provided to eligible singles, couples with no children, individuals with disabilities, and individuals age 65 and older for up to eight months from the date of arrival in the United States. Like the Supplemental Assistance Services program, clients are provided with additional supportive services and referrals.

 

Interested in Volunteering?
Refugee Services is always looking for dedicated volunteers to assist in the following ways:

  • Tutor a refugee child
  • Provide English as a Second Language training to a refugee
  • Mentor a refugee family
  • Help refugees prepare to enter the workforce

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer with Refugee Service or learning about additional volunteer opportunities through this program, contact Tom Hoog, volunteer and donations coordinator, at (210) 222-1294 or email dheslip@ccaosa.org.

   
   
 

 

   
   
   
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