Although Catholic Charities (formerly Catholic Social Services) was established in 1933 in Arizona, the agency didn’t begin resettling refugees until 1975 with a small, fledgling program. In the last four decades, we have grown and become a national leader in the effective, compassionate resettlement of thousands of refugees who come from nearly every faith, walk-of-life and corner of the world. Refugees are individuals who are legally admitted into the United States as refugees by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) due to a well-founded fear of persecution based on at least one of the following: Race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. Get Quick Facts About Refugees
Currently, the Phoenix Refugee Program has a staff of 24 employees supplemented by 2 full-time Jesuit Volunteers, a continuous resource of talents of student interns from local universities, AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers, and volunteers from our local community. Our culturally and ethnically diverse staff comes together from 16 different countries and is fluent in 16 languages.
The following programs are included in Refugee Resettlement:
Reception and Placement Program (R&P): This is the main program of Refugee Resettlement, funded federally (Department of State) through the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), which is the largest of the nine national Voluntary Agencies (VOLAGS) that have a Cooperative Agreement with the Department of State: Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) to resettle refugees. This program involves providing initial resettlement services to newly arrived refugees, including housing, basic necessities, assistance with "core services" such as connection to employment services, English as a second language (ESL), applications for benefits, a social security card, health screening, and community orientations. Program Duration: 90 days
Match Grant Program: The Match Grant Program is an expedited employment program designed to provide additional financial support and services to newly arrived refugees that will enable them to gain employment within 120 days of arrival into the United States. USCCB via the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) funds this program, which must retain a minimum 70% employment outcome. Note: This is a federally funded 2:1 match program, where our agency must raise 50% match, 20% cash, 30% in-kind donations. Program Duration: 180 days.
DES Programs: These programs are funded directly from the State Refugee Coordinator's Office, housed in the Deparment of Economic Security (DES). These are longer-term support services that allow the program to provide intense case management and
employment services to refugees within five years of arrival. This program also serves other eligible populations for refugee services such as those individuals granted asylum, Cuban Haitian border entrants (those who enter through the U.S./Mexico border and were not resettled through the Cuban Haitian Entrant Program [CHEP], etc.).
Parishes Organized to Welcome Refugees (POWR): Funded directly by USCCB, this program is designed to provide assistance to refugee agencies in order to engage and mobilize parishes to welcome refugees.
Preferred Communities: This program is funded by USCCB via DHS and designed to assist programs that are high-impact sites where specific populations or needs occur. In our case, this means providing additional medical case management and support to families where the program includes coaching to families to enable them to navigate the medical system independently and reduce reliance on service providers for assistance.