Catholic Charities Accepted into USCCB Refugee Resettlement Program
Catholic Charities was recently accepted into the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Refugee Resettlement Program! This means that our agency will begin welcoming refugees into our Diocese in 2017.
We are very pleased to be able to respond to the U.S. Bishops' call to increase the number of resettlement programs within the Catholic Charities network. We realize that the work will be challenging, but we are confident that, with the support of Bishop John, our parish partners and our many supporters, this ministry will help people who have suffered terribly to start new lives in a land of safety and opportunity.
This announcement will come as no surprise to those of you who have worked with our Welcome New Americans Project. The project empowers refugees and immigrants so that they can build social capital and work toward greater self-sufficiency. While all refugees receive both financial and social support and encouragement during their first 90 days in the United States, the integration process is dynamic and challenging. Welcome New Americans encourages refugees as they continue that process.
Our resettlement office will resettle 51 individuals during the first year. By starting small, we'll be able to focus on forming a network of volunteers and establishing an effective program that offers refugees opportunities to build a secure life in their new country.
Right now, with the help of Catholic Charities of Louisville and the USCCB's Office of Migration and Refugee Services, we're putting systems and personnel in place in anticipation of the first family's arrival. We invite you to help us prepare.
For more information about resettlement visit our FAQ's page
- For the refugees who will be coming
- For the staff and volunteers who will work with them
- For peace in the world so no one will ever be forced to leave their homeland
Furniture and household goods
- Couches, bed frames, sheets, cookware, dishes, etc. to furnish apartments for families
Affordable rental units for families
Employment opportunities for adults
- So they can begin rebuilding their lives
Mentors, tutors, advocates and navigators
- Help with English as a Second Language class
- Assist and encourage refugees as they learn to ride the bus, navigate the school system, etc.
- Provide transportation to such places as medical appointments and state offices
Changing Faces at Catholic Charities
Iris Gutierrez is an LCSW who is providing much-needed clinical counseling within the Hispanic community. Iris was formerly with our agency and we are happy she could return. She is here Wednesdays from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm and Thursdays from 12:30 pm to 8:30 pm. Her phone extension is 227.
We are happy Debbie Flynn, LCSW is back with us! Debbie sees counseling clients two days a week. Tuesday evenings from 4:00 to 8:00 pm and Friday mornings from 8:30 to 12:30 pm. Debbie sees individuals and couples. To make an appointment, ask for extension 305.
We would also like to welcome Janice Bett as out Americorps Member. Janice will serve as out Asset Building Coordinator, working to develop our financial literacy program, Lasting Change. She will also work with participants of an Asset Building Initiative at Mary Queen of the Holy Rosary.
We will soon be saying farewell to our VISTA volunteer, Nina Lowe, who has been with us for the past year implementing the Welcome New Americans Project. Thank you, Nina, for all you've done for Catholic Charities! We will miss you!
Celebrate and Remember
November is National Adoption Month, a time when we focus on families who have been joined through adoption. This is an annual national effort that was established to raise awareness of the more than 100,000 children waiting in foster care for permanent and living families.
At A Caring Connection of Catholic Charities, we remember the many families made possible through infant adoption over the years. This is a time to celebrate how those families came together but it is also a time to remember those first parents who made the sacrifice and chose adoption for their child.
Families joined by adoption are often very excited and eager to share their adoption stories, but those who made these adoptions possible usually do not receive the same acclaim and support. It is often difficult to share with others that you had to make such a difficult choice for your child, especially when the response from others is often not positive or supportive. So, you may not be aware when you cross paths with first parents who had such an impact on your family and friends through their decision to choose what they felt was best for their child.
In November, we celebrate and remember our "heroes"- the first parents who chose adoption, and those families joined by that decision.