Uncertainty Over Refugee Policies Causes Belt Tightening At Local Catholic Charities Office
Refugee resettlement agencies around the nation are scrambling for money, in the wake of the executive order halting all refugee resettlement for four months. Locally, two workers have been laid off from Catholic Charities as the agency shifts to manage cuts to its government funding.
One hundred thousand refugees were going to be allowed into the United States, until the executive order cut that number by half. The charity’s local office had planned to help 450 people. Now it expects to serve slightly more than the 130 clients alredy served, says Tom Mrosko, Director of Catholic Charities’ Migration and Refugee Services.
"We’re reimbursed from the State Department on a per capita. For every refugee, we get 'x' number of dollars," he said. "If we’re not going to resettle 450, and we’re staffed to handle 450, we had to make some changes along the way, along with other resettlement agencies.”
Mrosko said the local office is soliciting private donors and foundations. Nationally, Catholic Charities is trying raise $8 million to cover the drop in funding. Other agencies were affected as well. World Relief, an Evangelical Protestant organization, closed offices in Columbus and four other cities.