Posts Tagged ‘refugees’

Congress Debates Immigration Reform; Catholic Charities Focuses on Dignity of Work

Friday, July 12th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Catholic Charities has long helped victims who have undergone the horrendous humiliation of human trafficking regain their dignity through one of the most basic of human activities, work.

We now extend our Dignity of Work program to those waiting to be certified as victims of human trafficking as well as certain crime victims who hold U-Visas.

Those eligible receive:

  • Employment preparation services, including employment readiness classes
  • Resume assistance
  • Mock interviews
  • Financial resources for employment training
  • Social services

Finding work in the U.S. can be hard, and many immigrants and refugees are drawn to America for the opportunity to better themselves. Catholic Charities helps those who want to be employed, but find it difficult to know where to start.

Catholic Charities agencies can help refugees, asylees, Cuban/Haitian entrants and victims of trafficking develop a resume, learn a skill, practice interview skills, and learn how to search for a job. They can also set up job interviews through a wide network of employers who have come to rely on the good judgment of our staff in matching employment needs with qualified workers.

At Catholic Charities NY, in any given year:

  • 2,176 families provided with expert counsel and safeguarded from exploitation
  • 28,332      calls for help answered promptly with accurate information in 18 languages
  • 478   breadwinners helped to obtain authorization to work
  • 324   immigrants reunited with their families
  • 457   individual refugees resettled
  • 72    immigrants taught English and civics
  • 42    asylum seekers provided with legal representation

Dignity of Work is an initiative of the Anti-Trafficking Program of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Do you need help?  Call our New York State (NYS) New Americans Hotline: 1-212-419-3737 or 1-800-566-7636 (Toll-free in NYS).

First-Hand Stories of Tragedy and Survival; JustLove Celebrates World Refugee Day

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

A Nigerian man had his finger tips sawed off.  A Muslim child was threatened with death by her Serbian playmates.  They are two of the thousands of refugees helped by Catholic Charities Immigration and Refugee Services whose stories Mark Von Sternberg, Senior Attorney of Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Department, shared with Msgr. Kevin Sullivan on the recent JustLove radio program in celebration of today, World Refugee Day.

Millions of families have lost their homes to violence and war.  Some, such as the Nigerian man for whom Mr. Von Sternberg successfully gained asylum, lost body parts.  Others lost husbands, wives and children.

Tune in to our recent show on JustLove on The Catholic Channel 129, SIRIUS XM Satellite Radio to learn more.

World Refugee Day is a time when the United Nations, Catholic Charities and other civic and religious groups honor the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homes under threat of persecution, conflict and violence.

The Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Program is dedicated to serving survivors of violence and persecution who have fled their home countries to seek a new life in the United States. Catholic Charities Community Services assists family members and sponsors in making applications for refugees who are outside the United States, and for asylees with recently obtained status.

Multilingual, multicultural staff assist in the processing of refugee applications with overseas posts and make pre-arrival arrangements to assure that the refugee will be cared for upon arrival to the United States. After arrival, the office provides direct services, material assistance, job search assistance, job training and placement, ESL classes, school enrollment and other social services.

Do you need help?

Catholic Charities operates the New York State New Americans Hotline , a statewide information and referral hotline that gives general information and referrals to appropriate service agencies in response to immigration and citizenship-related questions. Hotline operators speak English, Spanish, French, Haitian-Creole, Italian, Polish, Arabic, Turkish, Albanian, Macedonian, Bosnian, Serbo-Croatian, Chinese (Mandarin), Hindi, Urdu, and Punjabi. New Americans Hotline provides an expanded menu of language options, previously not available, via a language service line, as well.

Call the New York State New Americans Hotline at 1-212-419-3737 or 1-800-566-7636 (Toll-free in NYS)

 

Volunteers Make Nonprofit Work Happen

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Giselle Harrington speaks with Msgr. Kevin Sullivan at volunteer luncheon.

Giselle Harrington speaks with Msgr. Kevin Sullivan at volunteer luncheon.

Catholic Charities honored seven Refugee Resettlement Department volunteers who together logged more than 700 volunteer hours in just over half a year at an internationally themed volunteer luncheon held Friday, April 26.

“There’s a great need for nonprofit work,” said Giselle Harrington, a volunteer who worked in Egypt and Palestine teaching children with mental disabilities before returning to the United States and volunteering with Catholic Charities.   “Volunteers really make nonprofit work happen.”

Similar to fellow volunteers that attended the luncheon, Ms. Harrington helps refugees pull together resumes and find work.

“I use my understanding of how to network,” Ms. Harrington said, “so that people can become employed, self sufficient and have a good result.”

Would you like to help change a life?

Click here to find a volunteer opportunity tailored just for you.

Tragedy, Poverty and Oppression Tear Immigrant Families Apart

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Looking for help reuniting with your family? Catholic Charities helps immigrants and refugees reunite with family members in two ways: through the legal immigration process, and through the refugee resettlement process. In both programs, highly skilled staff helps navigate the complicated rules and applications required by the U.S. government for family members to enter the United States.

Click here to find a Catholic Charities agency that can help.

Call Catholic Charities at the New York State New Americans Hotline: 212-419-3737 or 1-800-566-7636 (toll-free in NYS).

Looking for help with other needs?  Call the Catholic Charities Help line at: 888-744-7900.

Immigration Change to Ease Family Separations

Friday, January 4th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

“Obama administration officials unveiled rules on Wednesday that will allow many American citizens — perhaps hundreds of thousands — to avoid long separations from immediate family members who are illegal immigrants as they apply to become legal residents.” Read more from The New York Times.

Catholic Charities helps immigrants and refugees reunite with family members in two ways: through the legal immigration process, and through the refugee resettlement process. In both programs, highly skilled staff helps family members navigate the complicated rules and applications required by the U.S. government for family members to enter the United States.

If you need help in finding the services you need, please call Catholic Charities at the New York State New Americans Hotline,1-800-566-7636.

 

 

Announcing New Services for the International Community in New York

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

When the New York Times reported that a nonprofit that had served New York’s immigrant and refugee community for 50 years would have to close its doors, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York stepped in to ensure that the critical services provided by the organization could still continue.

This month, Catholic Charities recreated the services that had been provided by the International Center, previously located in Chelsea, to complement existing Catholic Charities services for immigrants and refugees.

The new services, which range from job readiness and skills training, to English language classes, to educational enrichment programs, are currently being led at the Catholic Charities headquarters by four former International Center employees, now part of the Catholic Charities staff: Mira Erickson, Shawn Mullin, Anna Petelka and Elaine Roberts.

One of the most prized services is the “conversation partners” program, where volunteers are matched with students to serve as English language tutors, and as a source of encouragement to continue learning and pursuing their goals.

According to staff, this program “provides an atmosphere of trust and support that … is often not as easy to create in a classroom setting. As in any successful language learning situation, it is a partnership of equals: while the newcomer works on acquiring the language, the volunteer works on developing strategies of engaging in a subtle process of mobilizing, inspiring, monitoring, and guiding.”

Volunteers are a large part of what have made these services to the international community so successful for the past 50 years. Many who received services have gone on to become volunteers, teaching and mentoring future students.

 

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