Refugee Resettlement

About the Program

Around the world today, there are over 22.5 million people that have no place to call home. They have forced to flee from their native country due to civil strife, war or oppression. Most of these refugee people are scraping out desperate lives in refugee camps in foreign lands.

Refugees that have fled have no hope for a peaceful return to their former lives. The vast majority of refugees have no choice but to remain for years and sometimes decades in refugee camps, living out precarious and despondent lives.

But for some refugees there is hope. Each year the United States admits thousands of refugees who are given an opportunity to make a new life for themselves and their families in cities across America.

CFC is proud to play a part in helping refugees share in the American Dream. Our Refugee Resettlement programs offer a broad set of services that help refugees make the most of the fresh opportunities open to them in the Rochester community who for more than 100 years have welcomed them with open arms.

What the Program Offers

CFC’s Refugee Resettlement Program equips newly-arrived refugees with services, resources, training and other support that allow them to rebuild hopeful lives and pursue enriching opportunities in their adopted homeland. Working in close coordination with local service providers, ethnic organizations, faith communities and volunteers, our services address the needs of refugees in a holistic and culturally appropriate manner, supporting their successful integration, fostering their independence and promoting their earliest possible self-sufficiency.

Our Refugee Resettlement Program provides intensive case management for newly arrived refugees from the date of their arrival through their first 90 days in country. Basic resettlement services include:

  • Airport Reception
  • Assistance securing safe, decent and affordable housing
  • Support for basic necessities such as food and clothing.
  • Community and Cultural orientation
  • Assistance obtaining social security cards
  • Referrals and assistance accessing services from medical, educational, employment and public benefit agencies

In addition to basic resettlement services, CFC also offers:

  • Cuban/ Haitian Resettlement Program
    • Mirroring its refugee resettlement program in the scope of service provision, CFC operates a Cuban/ Haitian Resettlement Program providing resettlement services to those immigrants who are nationals of Cuba or Haiti, are admitted to the U.S. as C/H entrants under humanitarian parole and are referred to CFC by its national resettlement agency - the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
  • STEPS (Striving Toward Employment Preparation & Self-sufficiency)
    • STEPS is CFC’s local version of the federal Matching Grant Program. The program works in concert with our resettlement program providing refugees and other qualified immigrant clients the added benefits of intensive and extended case management and employment services that speed their progress toward self-sufficiency through job preparation training and placement in the local workforce. In lieu of support from welfare, enrolled clients are temporarily supported by financial assistance from CFC for a period of up to 180 days from their arrival date.
  • Refugee Transitional Support
    • CFC offers assistance to refugees for up to 5 years from their arrival date in the area of transitional support. These services provide refugees with referral, limited intervention and general guidance on a variety of concerns including housing, medical & mental health services, public benefits and crisis intervention.
    • Medical case Management
    • Provision of case management services (coordination of care with medical providers) for those who need medical/psychological service for one year from enrollment.

Eligibility Criteria

Our refugee clients at CFC are a distinct class of immigrants who are admitted to the U.S. because their circumstances satisfy the criteria for “refugee status”. U.S. immigration law defines refugees as those persons of special humanitarian concern who have fled their country of origin because they have suffered persecution or have a well-founded fear of persecution on account of their race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group.

Once admitted, refugees are eligible to receive certain public benefits, are authorized to work, may obtain a green card and can pursue a path to citizenship.

Of the over 22.5 million refugees worldwide, only a small percentage will be allowed entry into the U.S. this year. Those refugees fortunate enough to be chosen for resettlement in the U.S. must undergo a rigorous screening process. After numerous interviews, medical exams, background checks and cultural orientations, they may finally be deemed ready to travel to the U.S. and are assigned to a Refugee Sponsoring Agency such as CFC.

CFC Refugee Resettlement services are available to those refugee families referred to CFC for sponsorship by its two associated national resettlement agencies – the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Church World Service (CWS).

CFC also offers some of its resettlement services to other immigrant classes who are deemed eligible by federal guidelines. Other immigrant classes that may be eligible for CFC services include:

  • Asylees
  • Victims of Severe Forms of Trafficking
  • Afghan and Iraqi Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) holders

Partners & Community Resources

Resettling refugees and helping them integrate is an effort requiring contributions from numerous sectors of our Rochester Community. CFC wishes to thank all of our community partners that help make Rochester such a welcoming place and do so much to provide support to refugees as they make their way in their new home.

  • Saint's Place
    • For more than 15 years CFC has partnered with Saints Place of St. Louis Parish in Pittsford and St. John of Fairport, New York to ensure that refugees have the clothes, home furnishings and personal items they need when they first arrive to Rochester. In addition to collecting and allocating donated goods and home furnishings for our refugee clients, Saint’s Place operates tutoring programs for refugees in the South Wedge neighborhood of Rochester.
    • To find out more about Saint's Place or learn how your gently used donated goods, furnishings and clothing can help newly arriving refugees, visit them at:
  • Office of Adult Career and Education Services (OACES)
    • Rochester City School District’s OACES provides a full range of adult literacy and ESL instruction and vocational training programs for refugees and other immigrants and non-English speakers. Visit them at:
  • Rochester International Academy (RIA)
    • RIA at Rochester City School District’s Jefferson campus provides refugees and other new immigrant students with an instructional program that develops English language proficiency and prepares them for mainstream schooling. Visit their website at:
  • Mary’s Place
    • Mary’s Place provides refugee outreach services including tutoring, food and clothing assistance, consultations and referral to refugees throughout the city of Rochester. Visit them at:


Volunteers have always played a critical role in welcoming refugees to our so that they can help them make the most of the new opportunities before them. Our volunteers are trained and oriented specifically to work effectively with refugee populations. There are no financial, language or experience requirements.

Please check out our Volunteer page for more information about how you can help.

Contact the Program

Phone: (585) 546-7220 x4601

Fax: (585) 262-7089

Refugee & Immigration Services Contact Information

87 N Clinton Ave
Rochester, NY 14604

P: (585) 546-7220 x4601
F: (585) 546-4856

CFC is a proud AmeriCorps grantee