Refugee Resettlement Program

“I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”

Refugees are ordinary people caught in extraordinary circumstances.  In their homeland, they were teachers, students, doctors, and farmers.  They were activists who spoke out against oppressive governments.  They were children caught in the crossfire of war.  Here, they are our neighbors and friends.

Some refugees spend years in refugee camps.  Before being allowed to enter the United State, all refugees must be screened by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, as well as nine federal agencies.  They come here as legal immigrants who are authorized to work, attend school, and pursue a path to citizenship.

At Catholic Charities Tompkins/Tioga, we see resettlement as the first step towards renewed self-sufficiency for many refugees.  Towards that end, we work with service agencies and volunteers to provide our refugee clients with affordable housing, furnishings and clothes.  We help adults register for English classes, and enroll children in school.  We provide job training and entrepreneurial support.  We introduce refugees to “every day” aspects of their community – everything from local bus routes, to banking, to grocery shopping.

Catholic Charities is proud to play a part in helping refugees share in the American Dream.  We wish to thank all of our community partners that help make Ithaca such a welcoming place and do so much to provide support to refugees as they make their way in their new home.  We are also grateful to be an affiliate of US Conference of Catholic Bishops in order to provide refugee resettlement services in the Ithaca area.

Refugee Resettlement core services include:

  • Airport reception
  • Assistance securing safe, decent and affordable housing
  • Basic needs support
  • Community and cultural orientation
  • Assistance obtaining social security cards
  • Job development services
  • Assistance accessing medical services
  • School enrollment (K-12 placement, Adult Learning)

Catholic Charities Tompkins/Tioga is an affiliate of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and was approved by the Department of State to be a resettlement site in 2016.