For more than 30 years, Catholic Charities has resettled individuals and families who have been declared refugees by the United Nations High Commission on Refugees. These newcomers to Pittsburgh are seeking a new life having faced war or political or religious persecution.
In recent years, Catholic Charities staff and volunteers have welcomed refugees from Nepal, Burma, Iraq, Sudan and Somalia. Many have lived in refugee camps their entire lives and come to this country with very few possessions, very limited or no understanding of the English language, and very limited knowledge of their new culture and neighborhood.
How We Help Refugees
To help refugees transition to their new life in Pittsburgh, Catholic Charities’ Refugee Services staff provides extensive services that follow federal funding guidelines.
Within the first month of arrival:
- safe and affordable housing
- completion of applications for Social Security, medical assistance, food stamps, and public assistance
- health screenings
- enrollment in school (if applicable)
- English-as-Second-Language (ESL) classes
- general community orientation
Within the first three months of arrival:
- Catholic Charities employment specialists provide pre-employment training and work with refugees to find at least one family member in their household a job as soon as possible
- rent, utility, and transportation assistance
How you can Help Refugees
You can help Catholic Charities make the transition for our refugees a bit easier in the following ways:
- Donate new household items: bedding, blankets, cleaning supplies, vacuum cleaners, and personal care products are most needed
- Help set-up apartments.
- Volunteer in our "Welcome to America" life-skills classes.
- Donate Giant Eagle gift cards in $10 increments.
- Hire a refugee to work at your company. Many of the refugees who come to us are skilled craftsmen and hard-working laborers, and are legally sanctioned to work in the United States. They are also eager to work, dependable and loyal. Our refugee employment team provides free support services to our refugees on the job.
- Invite a representative from our Refugee program to speak to your school, church or civic group so we can share the stories of our refugees and ways you can help.
- Cash donations. Donate online
Refugee Services................................. 412-456-6972