How Rochester and CFC Have Helped over 15,000 Refugees

Around the world today, there are over 80 million people that are displaced from their homes, 26 million of those with refugee status. They have been forced to flee from their native country due to violence, conflict, and persecution. For many years’ violence has erupted or continued in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America, leaving many people displaced or in exile.

Refugees that have fled their homes usually have no hope for a peaceful return to their homeland. Many refugees have no choice but to remain for years and sometimes decades in refugee camps, living precarious and despondent lives.

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

Now more than ever, it is time for our community to collectively work together to create a welcoming and inviting new home, providing a helping hand so that refugees too can find peace.

What the Program Offers

CFC’s Refugee Resettlement Program equips newly arrived refugees with services, resources, training, and other supports 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.

Refugee Resettlement

The majority of the small number of refugees resettled in Rochester in 2020 were Afghan, Burmese, Congolese & Ukrainian.

Bar chart of refugees resettled

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, sanitary, and affordable housing
  • Support for necessities such as food and clothing.
  • Community and Cultural orientation
  • Assistance obtaining social security cards
  • School enrollment
  • Employment assistance
  • Referrals and assistance accessing services from medical, and public benefit agencies

In addition to resettlement services, CFC also offers enhanced and ongoing services to support former refugees as they acclimate to their new home in the US.

Refugee Resettlement

Rochester provided over 1500 volunteer hours of direct support to refugee clients in 2019.

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 80 million displaced people worldwide, only a small percentage (usually less than 1%) 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 orientation, 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 the national resettlement agency, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

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:

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

Refugee Resettle­ment

Contact Information:

Enhanced and transitional services for refugees and their families beyond their initial arrival period.

CFC offers ongoing assistance and support to refugees and their families as they settle into their new home and community in Rochester, NY. These services provide refugees with referrals, job skills, and general guidance on a variety of concerns including housing, medical & mental health services, public benefits, and crisis intervention.

AmeriCorps

We partner with AmeriCorps to conduct workshops and individual education on financial literacy, budgeting and financial responsibilities.

COVID19 Awareness and Education

COVID19 awareness and education through promotion of information on how to protect oneself from contracting the virus as well as vaccination information. We have translated important information on COVID and vaccines to languages appropriate within the Rochester refugee community.

Food Insecurity Grant

CFC is distributing funds from a Food Insecurity Grant through the end of October, 2021. Key support includes the provision of public market gift certificates and supplemental food purchases for those facing food insecurity.

Support to obtain a green card and pursuing a path to citizenship.

Our Immigration team includes Accredited Representatives authorized by the Department of Justice to provide counsel, intervention and official representation on immigration matters adjudicated by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).

Health Education

Health education on a variety of health topics, ranging from prescription medication to diabetes control through diet and exercise provided through workshops currently being held via zoom.

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.

Parishes Organized to Welcome Immigrant and Refugees (POWIR)

CFC coordinates with faith based communities to welcome immigrants and refugees by connecting volunteers to support acculturation into our community.

Project Golden Door

An education series on a variety of topics from how to buy a home, American holidays and any relevant topics to learn about American culture and assimilation. These classes are held via zoom and are offered bi-weekly.

STEPS (Striving Toward Employment Preparation & Self-sufficiency)

Our Resettlement team works in concert with our Workforce Development 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.

Ongoing Support Services

Contact Information:

  • Address:

    87 N Clinton Ave., Rochester, NY 14604

  • Phone:

    (585) 546-7220 x4601

  • Fax:

    (585) 262-7089

Refugee Resettle­ment

Contact Information:

  • Address:

    87 N Clinton Ave., Rochester, NY 14604

  • Phone:

    (585) 546-7220 x4601

  • Fax:

    (585) 262-7089

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 our community partners that help make Rochester such a welcoming place and do so much to provide support to refugees as they settle into their new life’s.

  • Mary's Place
    • Mary’s Place provides refugee outreach services including tutoring, food and clothing assistance, case management and referrals to refugees throughout the city of Rochester.
      Visit them at: www.marysplaceoutreach.org.
  • 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: www.oaces.net.
  • Rochester Regional Health – Center of Refugee Health
    • The Center of Refugee Health provides specialized primary care for newly arriving refugees.
      Visit their refugee healthcare website at: www.rochesterregional.org.
  • Rochester International Academy (RIA)
    • RIA at Rochester City School District’s Jefferson campus provides refugees and other new immigrant students grades 9-12 with an instructional program that develops English language proficiency and prepares them for mainstream schooling.
      Visit their website at: www.rcsdk12.org.
  • Refugees Helping Refugees
    • Refugees Helping Refugees provides refugee outreach services including tutoring, food and clothing assistance, case management and referrals to refugees throughout the city of Rochester.
      Visit them at: rhrroc.org.
  • 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. 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: www.saintsplace.org.

Refugee Resettle­ment

Contact Information:

  • Address:

    87 N Clinton Ave., Rochester, NY 14604

  • Phone:

    (585) 546-7220 x4601

  • Fax:

    (585) 262-7089

Volunteer

Rochester provided over 1650 volunteer hours of direct support to refugee clients in 2020.

Volunteers have always played a critical role in welcoming refugees 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.

Who is CFC

A quick overview of Catholic Family Center

500+
Employees & Volunteers
14+
Languages Available
19
Locations
1
Mission
Providing the most vulnerable with hope