Catholic Charities in Tennessee got its start in 1962 with a program to resettle Cuban children during intense political conflict in that country.
Refugee and Immigration Services is now one of the largest Catholic Charities programs with a third of the Catholic Charities staff working in this area. Catholic Charities also has a number of AmeriCorp volunteers supporting refugees and immigrants.
Catholic Charities anticipate helping 300 individuals and families relocate to Middle Tennessee.
Tennessee Office for Refugees is a department of Catholic Charities designated and funded by the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) to administer the state refugee resettlement program.
Through contracted services, technical assistance, and administrative support, the Tennessee Office for Refugees partners with refugee resettlement agencies, clinics, and other agencies that provide direct services to refugees, Asylees, Cuban and Haitian entrants, victims of trafficking, Amerasians, and Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) holders who make Tennessee their home.
In 2019, refugee resettlement assisted 41 new refugee households with a total of 140 individuals. In total, the program helped more than 3,000 clients in 2019. In addition to new refugee arrivals, the department serves a large number of immigrant families and individuals that have been granted asylum or humanitarian entry or who are victims of human trafficking.
In 2020, much of the work for refugee resettled was slowed because of the pandemic and travel restrictions.
Immigration services currently helps individuals navigate citizenship, work authorization, and family reunification.
Catholic Charities Immigration Services provides counseling and assistance with completing immigration forms to individuals seeking assistance in most immigration matters. Our immigration services are an affordable alternative to attorney fees and our coordinator is accredited by the Department of Justice and qualified to help with any immigration need. Our office continuously receives updated materials related to all immigration laws and procedures.
The number of refugees and immigrants helped by Catholic Charities in 2019 and 2020
Immigration Services provides counseling, assistance in completing immigration forms to individuals seeking assistance in most immigration matters.
The Refugee Elders Program provides support services in a group format to assist newly resettled older adults as they adjust to life in the United States.
Helping refugees reach their goal of self-sufficiency through employment.
The Refugee Resettlement Program provides core resettlement services to newly arrived refugee individuals and families.
From Judy K. Orr, Executive Director The Latest on Afghan Refugee Assistance We so appreciate everyone who has reached out to help us welcome Afghans who have come to Nashville to start new lives. Our proud tradition of working with New Americans began in 1962. So far, 85 of the 300 people assigned to our […]
Tennessee Register had an excellent article highlighting the work of Catholic Charities’ case managers welcoming new Afghan arrivals. Case managers are responsible for helping Afghan families acclimate to their new lives in the U.S. Kellye Branson, Refugee and Immigration Services director, said the case managers are among the most essential parts of the department. “They’re critical. […]
Deanna Dibin’s family immigrated to the United States from Azerbaijan with the help of several organizations, including Catholic Charities. Her story reflects what many of the 50,000 Afghan families coming to the United States as part of the Afghan Placement Assistance Program are feeling and experiencing right now. Catholic Charities expects to help 150 individuals […]