USCCB/MRS continually searches for innovative and cost-effective approaches to help refugees rebuild their lives. Over the years, we have found the best approach to resettlement is one that emphasizes early employment for refugees as the means to self-sufficiency while addressing their transitional needs. The courage and resiliency of refugees are shown in the high rate of employment found among refugees at just six months after their arrival in the U.S.

Resettling refugees provides an extraordinary opportunity for countless Americans to take an active part in offering a caring and supportive environment for refugees as they begin new lives. Without volunteers and resources from the community and parishes, USCCB/MRS and the diocesan resettlement offices would be unable to accomplish the tremendous task of giving refugees new hope and the opportunity to begin again.



The people we help inspire us:

The first Syrian refugee in Arkansas
Omar reminds us that people don't plan on becoming refugees. "I thought I knew what it was like to be a refugee, then I became a refugee and I needed someone to help me."

Mother and son reunite after ten years apart
Benjamin and his mom were resettled by Catholic Charities of Baton Rouge. From Matt C., one of our staff members:  A day after I met with Benjamin, the CCBR resettlement program successfully secured him a full-time job with a printing company. He is excited to help his mom with the bills, and to begin saving some money so he can go to college. He wants to transfer some of his credits in biology to an American college, possibly LSU in Baton Rouge. Benjamin is a very motivated and a positive young man who will make a big contribution to the Baton Rouge community.

Enjoying that yogurt? Bhutanese refugees from Rochester, NY might have milked the cows
The Refugee Milker Training Program began in 2014 out of mutual need: Refugees in Rochester wanted familiar agrarian jobs, and farms needed labor to fuel the yogurt boom. Since then, it has evolved into a modest social experiment in the state's dairy heartland.

A high school basketball star in New Mexico
Vicky, a high school basketball star in New Mexico, is a refugee from Burundi. She is thriving in spite of immense cultural adjustments. On her arrival to Albuquerque, Vicky says: "I was actually bald, had no hair and kids looked at me kind of weird. People didn't know if I was a girl, so I had a hard time with that. Back home girls are not allowed to have hair at all, except the ones with rich parents."

A Yugoslavian family finds a safe haven in Illinois
Mom Janet says of fleeing the Bosnian War:  "Your brothers, your sisters, your neighbors: You wake up and you find out that people you thought were friends were now the enemies."

The programs we partner with never cease to amaze us:

Kudos to Portland, OR on their successful expansion and for setting the standards for new programs!
Kudos to the Buffalo Refugee Assistance Program for transforming a church into one-stop center for our refugees!
Kudos to Albuquerque's Catholic Charities Refugee Youth Mentoring Program, featured on "Dignity in the Community."