CINCINNATI – June 7, 2018 – Families are forced to flee from their homes every day. Many will never return and become refugees. At a time when fewer and fewer are given an opportunity to build new lives, Catholic Charities remains hopeful and will share this hope with hundreds of refugees who are beginning new lives locally.

“We are witnessing the highest levels of displaced people ever recorded with 65.3 million people forced from their homes due to war and persecution. While the majority remain in their home countries, 22 million are forced to flee and seek refuge in other countries. Over half of these refugees are children,” said Ted Bergh, CEO of Catholic Charities. “Only the most vulnerable are referred for resettlement. Despite the extent of global displacement, less than 1% of refugees are resettled.”

The United States dramatically reduced the number of refugees allowed into the country from 110,000 to 45,000, and the country is tracking to admit just 21,000 refugees this year, according to data compiled by the Refugee Processing Center, a program operated by the Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration. This would be the fewest number of refugees admitted into the United States since 1980.

In Cincinnati, Catholic Charities is projected to resettle 230 refugees this year – a dramatic drop from 2016 when the agency resettled 333 refugees.

“We believe in our nation’s great history of being a beacon of hope for families fleeing persecution, war and violence. We remain steadfast in our faith and solidarity with all refugees and immigrants,” Bergh said. “Assisting refugees is a fundamental Christian duty rooted in God’s mercy and Jesus, who was a migrant and a child of refugees. Christians are called to welcome new neighbors with the same love and compassion we would want for our families.”

Catholic Charities invites the community to share hope and solidarity with refugees from 11 am to 3 pm, Saturday, June 16 at the P&G MLB Cincinnati Reds Youth Academy on Seymour Avenue in Roselawn. Guests are encouraged to bring a dish to share for this family-style picnic packed with games, music and cultural performances. Catholic Charities celebrates World Refuge Day every June and is joined this year by presenting sponsors: Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati and the Ursulines of Cincinnati. Additional community partners include the Bhutanese Community of Cincinnati, Jancoa and the Jewish Community Relations Council.

About Us

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. Visit www.ccswoh.org to learn more.

The P&G MLB Cincinnati Reds Youth Academy provides free baseball, softball, educational and vocational programs to kids ages 4-18 throughout Greater Cincinnati. The Reds Academy is part of a Major League Baseball initiative intended to make baseball and softball more accessible to underserved kids and families from urban neighborhoods. The facility serves as the home of the Reds RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) program and serves as the home to Walnut Hills and Purcell Marian high schools. The outdoor fields have hosted the RBI World Series, the Reds High School Futures Showcase, the annual Jackie Robinson Showcase and close to 1,000 games annually. Attendance at the fall and winter programs, clinics and seminars engages more than 3,000 individual kids and more than 1,000 regular members annually. More information can be found at www.reds.com/academy.