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Refugee Reception and Resettlement Program

Refugee Resettlement in the United States

The United States is proud of its history of welcoming immigrants and refugees. The U.S. refugee resettlement program reflects the United States’ highest values and aspirations to compassion, generosity and leadership. Since 1975, Americans have welcomed over 3 million refugees from all over the world. Refugees have built new lives, homes and communities in towns and cities in all 50 states.

Resettlement: The Solution for Only a Few

A refugee is someone who has fled from his or her home country and cannot return because he or she has a well-founded fear of persecution based on religion, race, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group. The first step for most refugees is to register with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the country to which s/he has fled. UNHCR has the mandate to provide international protection to refugees. UNHCR determines if an individual qualifies as a refugee and, if so, works toward the best possible durable solution for each refugee: safe return to the home country, local integration, or third-country resettlement.

According to UNHCR’s latest statistics, there are approximately 15.4 million refugees in the world. The vast majority of these refugees will receive support in the country to which they fled until they can voluntarily and safely return to their home country. A small number of refugees will be allowed to become citizens in the country to which they fled, and an even smaller number — primarily those who are at the highest risk — will be resettled in a third country. While UNHCR reports that less than 1 percent of all refugees are eventually resettled in third countries, the United States welcomes over half of these refugees, more than all other resettlement countries combined.

Coptic Orthodox Charities, Inc. (COC) was granted a sub grant from Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration through ECDC to resettle refugees in the Tampa Bay area.  The Program time period is 30 days but can be extended to 90 days. 

COC provides the following services before the refugee arrival to the US:

  • Locate and rent a safe and clean apartment
  • Furnish the apartment
  • Purchase food and stock the fridge  

 COC provide the following services upon the refugee Arrival to the US:

  • Provide home safety orientation
  • Apply for DCF Benefits
  • Enroll the adult refugees in ESOL classes
  • Enroll the adult refugees in Employment Services
  • Apply for Social Security Cards
  • Transport the Refugees to the Health (refugee clinic), fill application and interpret
  • 2nd and 3rd appointments with the Health clinic are refugee’s responsibility
  • Assistance with registering with Selective Service (ages 18-25)
  • Register Children in school
  • Cultural Orientation
  • Pocket Money throughout first 30 days
  • Assistance in enrolling in Ongoing Services (e.g. Integration Services, FCST, SSI, Youth Program)
  • Teaching them Transportation services in their area.
  • Ensure refugee with acute health care requirements receive appropriate and timely medical attention   

The Program Main Goal: Self Sufficiency within the 90 days.