Catholic Social Services began providing refugee resettlement services in the early summer of 1975, with the fall of the South Vietnamese government to communist control. Bishops across the United States provided an immediate response offering the support of social service agencies in their dioceses. Since then, Catholic Social Services has welcomed thousands of refugees and is the only provider of refugee services in the state of Alabama.
What We Do:
Catholic Social Services is designated by the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) to administer the state refugee resettlement program. Catholic Social Services helps refugees, asylees, and other eligible populations access to cash and medical assistance, initial medical screenings, employment, and social adjustment services in an effort to achieve self-sufficiency. Catholic Social Services also provides case management services to facilitate the holistic provision of services, ensuring each refugee receives coordinated and effective interventions designed to meet each specific situation. Services are available to eligible populations who reside in the state of Alabama.
Refugee Cash Assistance
Our program provides Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA) to all eligible clients for up to eight months after their arrival/date of asylum in the United States. RCA serves as financial support for refugees not eligible for other federal cash assistance, helping them meet their basic needs for the months following their arrival or until their income exceeds 150% of the federal poverty level.
Refugee Medical Assistance
Refugee Medical Assistance (RMA) is federally-funded short-term medical insurance provided to refugees and other eligible populations. Individuals are eligible for this coverage for up to eight months after their arrival/date of asylum in the United States.
The Refugee Support Services program (RSS) includes employment services. These services are intended not only to assist the individual in obtaining employment but also to improve his or her understanding of the process of finding and keeping a job.
Services include orientation to employer expectations in the US, resume building skills, job upgrades, coaching prior to an interview, and follow-up with both the employer and the new employee.
Who We Serve:
A refugee is an individual who flees his/her country due to a well-founded fear of persecution based on one of five protected classes: religion, political opinion, race, nationality, or membership in a particular social group. Refugee status must be applied for and received after the screening process proves the well-founded fear is true. Refugees must also be otherwise admissible to the US and not firmly resettled in a third country.
Our office also provides services to asylees, victims of trafficking, Cuban/Haitian entrants, SIVs, and certain Amerasians. In order to access refugee resettlement program benefits, individuals must provide acceptable documentation of one of the statuses eligible for Office of Refugee Resettlement benefits and services.