Catholic Charities of Minnesota drops refugee program; will take care of poor and homeless already among us

At least one of the major players in Minnesota’s refugee industry has woken up and smelled the coffee—gobs of federal money is not going to flow to the resettlement of more refugees to Minnesota, especially Somalis, in the foreseeable future.

One of the first questions people ask me when they first hear about the UN/US Refugee Admissions Program and the imminent arrival of third world poverty to their home town/city is this:

Why are we doing this when we have so many poor and homeless people right here who need care?

It looks like at least Catholic Charities is getting the message, perhaps from many faithful Catholic parishioners (like Kate below!)!

The primary story on the news is at the Star Tribune headlined (hat tip: Joanne):

Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis cuts refugee resettlement, adoption programs

The charity will instead focus on fighting homelessness and helping at-risk kids.

But, there are many news outlets including Radio KNSI with the story as well.  I had to laugh when I saw this comment at KNSI:


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Here are the highlights from the Star Tribune:

Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis is dropping its refugee resettlement and adoption programs and diving deeper into its other work, especially programs combating homelessness and helping at-risk children.

CEO Tim Marx unveiled the 150-year-old charity’s new priorities this week. The dramatic pivot comes as Catholic Charities saw the number of people served through its adoption and refugee resettlement programs dwindle. At the same time, he said, they’ve seen demand for other services increase.

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Catholic CEO Tim Marx says they must adapt to a changing world!

“If we don’t adapt to the changing world, like any organization, we are going to be left behind,” Marx said.

“This community needs Catholic Charities. That places a special responsibility on us to keep up to date, to keep moving and respond to new needs.”

A big part of that new work will focus on Catholic Charities’ St. Joseph’s Home for Children, which is often the first stops for at-risk kids removed from their homes by police and social workers. The charity has a long-standing contract with Hennepin County to provide emergency shelter for kids and Marx said it is time to refresh those programs to help the 1,100 kids in their care each year. The nonprofit would also like to upgrade the century-old St. Joseph’s facilities that originally operated as an orphanage.

For new readers***, not said here, but Catholic Charities/USCCB relies on a refugee per head payment from the US Treasury to place refugees (in case you are wondering why they need to drop the program) and that funding is drying up.

Meanwhile, Catholic Charities refugee resettlement program has shrunk amid changes in federal immigration policy. It plans to shutter the program by late summer.

Last year, the Trump administration beefed up security screening requirements and slashed the annual refugee arrival ceiling by more than half, to 45,000 nationally.

The changes have led to an especially marked refugee arrival slowdown in Minnesota, traditionally one of the country’s key resettlement destinations.

The government extended a pause on arrivals from 11 countries including Somalia — a top country for refugees coming to Minnesota — and suspended indefinitely a family reunification program used by many refugees resettled here to reunite with spouses and children. Since the start of the federal fiscal year on Oct. 1, 2017, through February 2018, about 240 refugees arrived in the state, compared to 1,180 during the same period the previous year.

Read it all here.

By the way, one of my top posts of all time is this one about how so many Somalis got to Minnesota in the first place—-Catholic Charities was one of three non-profits that recognized Minnesota’s welcoming welfare as one important consideration.

*** For new readers….

The contractors (aka VOLAGs) which includes Catholic Charities as a subcontractor of the USCCB.

I post the contractor list almost every day because I want new readers to know exactly who is responsible for driving the US Refugee Admissions Program (in addition to the UN!).

The number in parenthesis is the percentage of the nine VOLAGs’ income paid by you (the taxpayer) to place the refugees, line them up with (low paying) jobs in food production and cleaning hotel rooms, and get them signed up for their services (welfare)!  From most recent accounting, here.