Refugee Resettlement Program Rises to Meet Challenges
With new refugee arrivals in the United States capped at just 18,000 for the coming year, many of Catholic Social Services’ friends and supporters have had questions about what the future holds for this program in Dayton. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions.
Is CSSMV’s refugee resettlement program closing?
No. While some of the smaller resettlement programs across the country have been forced to close, CSSMV’s experience in resettling refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has positioned the agency to continue this work for the foreseeable future.
- Program Manager Michael Murphy continues to serve not only as an advocate for refugees locally, but also as a subject matter expert on the resettlement process. Over the past year, he has consulted with the United States Council of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Catholic Charities USA on the subject of best practices, and he has served as a representative of those agencies at conferences held in Princeton NJ and New Haven CT.
Is CSSMV resettling fewer refugees than in the past?
Resettlement figures are based on the Federal fiscal year, which begins on October 1. For the year that just ended, CSSMV had initially expected to have only 109 new arrivals in Dayton. As the year went on, however, the number crept up to nearly 300 with most originating from the DRC. This is a significant increase over the previous year, which saw 184 new arrivals.
- UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency, describes the Democratic Republic of the Congo as “one of the most complex and challenging humanitarian situations worldwide,” and notes that human rights violations there are widespread, including “physical mutilation, killings, sexual violence, arbitrary arrest and detention in inhumane conditions.”
Has support for this program decreased?
No. CSSMV is blessed to have a wide range of donors, volunteers, and community partners who continue to respect and support this important, life-saving work. Shine Dayton, the agency’s young professionals’ group, recently hosted their third annual Shine Dayton Celebration with proceeds supporting refugee resettlement. More than 200 guests attended, and event sponsorship levels hit a new record high.
Refugee resettlement saves lives and reunites families.
For those looking for ways to support CSSMV’s refugee resettlement program, please visit the agency’s website at cssmv.org and click on “You Can Help” to find information about volunteering, making a donation of needed items, or providing monetary support. If you are a landlord or a local employer interested in working with refugees, please call (937) 223-7217 and ask to speak with a refugee employment specialist or the refugee housing case manager.