CINCINNATI – June 5, 2017 – Every minute 24 people will leave everything behind to flee war, persecution and terror. Most will live the balance of their lives as refugees. More than half of these refugees are children, according to the UN Refugee Agency.
In observance of World Refugee Day, Catholic Charities Southwestern Ohio is sharing an update on its efforts to welcome and resettle refugees. Catholic Charities is the only Refugee Resettlement agency in Cincinnati under contract with the U.S. State Department and U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to ensure new arrivals receive housing, safety orientation, medical checks, English language instruction and job training. In partnership with more than 200 volunteers and churches supporting this work, Catholic Charities resettled 240 refugees since October 2016.
Most of those resettled are families. Here’s a glance at the demographics:
• 47% female, 53% male
• 49% under 18 years old
• 51% over 18 years old
• 25% from The Democratic Republic of Congo, 24% from Bhutan, 19% from Syria and 16% from Somalia Other countries include Central African Republic, Eritrea, Iraq and Sudan
Many are vulnerable, arriving with serious medical conditions or injuries. Catholic Charities transported 4 children directly to the hospital for treatment upon arrival.
“The world is facing its largest refugee crisis since World War II and this is our opportunity to uphold cherished American values and practice core Christian beliefs to welcome the stranger and protect the vulnerable,” Ted Bergh, CEO of Catholic Charities, said. “While the number of refugees arriving in Cincinnati is down from the prior year, Catholic Charites is committed to ensuring refugees seeking new lives are equipped to be contributing members of our community.”
Of the able-bodied refugees resettled over the last eight months, 175 attended Catholic Charities Employment Readiness Academy, 91 are working and about 84% retained employment after six months. Importantly, 100% of refugees served by Catholic Charities improved their income while taking classes and earned an average of $9.70 per hour last year.
Catholic Charities Southwestern Ohio is a United Way Agency Partner that serves the poor, protects the vulnerable and welcomes the stranger regardless of religious background or country of origin. Our mission to enlighten, serve and empower is enabled by the generosity of donors and volunteers. Together, we serve and bring hope to more than 120,000 people each year. Visit www.ccswoh.org to learn more.