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Refugee Resettlement Services

The Office of Immigration and Refugee Services serves all individuals regardless of race, religion, or country of origin who are experiencing problems in seeking admission into the country, seeking permanent residence, citizenship, family reunification or assistance while temporarily here in the United States.

Catholic Charities recognizes the importance of self-determination and respects the skills and abilities of our clients. Therefore, the resettlement service is designed to foster maximum independence, self-direction, and self-support by providing the persons served with specialized support and training. Each eligible client will receive the essential elements of service regardless of race, religion, country of origin, or ability to pay.

Through the US Conference of Catholic Bishops - USCCB/Migration and Refugee Services - MRS Remote Placement Program, Catholic Charities of NWFL provides refugee resettlement services to a limited number of refugees who arrive in the Florida Panhandle Area. The main objective of the program is to enable the client to transfer skills from their former socio-economic system to that of the United States and become self-sufficient as soon as possible. With compassion and empathy, our caseworkers assist each refugee with their cultural adjustment process, helping to make it as smooth as possible.

Services provided:

  • Airport pick-up upon arrival and transportation to the refugees' new home.
  • Provide or ensure that the refugees that arrive in the area are provided the following:
    • Decent, safe, and sanitary housing based on federal, local, or state housing quality standards.
    • Necessary furniture and household items.
    • Culturally appropriate grocery items & a ready-to-eat meal upon arrival.
    • Appropriate seasonal clothing for work, school, and everyday use for all members of the family.
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Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door! (1)

Assistance with the following:

  • Application for social security card(s) and other forms of personal identification necessary in the United States.
  • Assistance with access to health services.
  • Application for food stamps, cash, and medical assistance.
  • Enrollment of adults in English language programs.
  • Enrollment in employment services including job readiness and orientation to the U.S. workforce as well as assistance to becoming employed and retaining the job.
  • Meeting school enrollment requirements and registering children in grades K-12 in school.
  • Registration of males between the ages of 18 and 25 with the Selective Service.
  • Filing change of address forms with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Post Office (and Selective Service, as applicable) for all changes of address, including initial and temporary housing, during the service period.
  • Completing and filing Affidavits of Relationship, as needed.
  • Enrollment in or application for other services for which each refugee is eligible.
  • Orientation, including but not limited to:
    • U.S. laws and customs
    • Budgeting and personal finances
    • Housing
    • Health and hygiene
    • Cultural adjustment
    • Transportation
    • Resources available in the community.
  • Other services as needed.

To make a donation to our Immigration & Refugee Program:

Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida
Immigration and Refugee Services

Serving Pensacola, Fort Walton Beach, Panama City, and Tallahassee

Pensacola Office
1815 N. Sixth Avenue

Fort Walton Beach Office
11 First Street SE