Friday, July 25, 2008

Emergency call for housing of refugees

I received this message in my email today. Can you help?




The staff of Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Program sends their warm hellos and thanks for your past support of newly arrived refugees.

Many of you have been wonderful advocates for refugees for years, and it will come as no surprise to you that we are in the midst of our annual "refugee bulge." We resettle close to 70% of our annual caseload from July to September each year. (The federal calendar closes on Sept. 30, and no one flies after that until the President signs the new year's Presidential Determination - hence the overseas push out of the camps.)

Can you help us this summer?

Our two Refugee Transitional Homes are full to capacity, and Santa Clara County's housing situation is very, very difficult this year. We're finding it next to impossible to rent affordable apartments or homes on short notice. For example, we have a family of six (parents and 4 kids, ages 10 months to 13 years) from Bhutan arriving tomorrow, Friday. Their housing fell through today, and now we are scrambling to find a place for them in the next 24 hours.

Would you consider helping this family - or an individual refugee, or couple, or mother and child - during this time? Do you have extra room where you could house someone for a month or two and help us to welcome them into the country? We are expecting refugees from all over the world this month, including Burma, Bhutan, Sudan, Iraq - and we desperately need a hand.

You won't be alone - our case managers will help them with English classes, jobs, school enrollment for kids, housing - and lives will be transformed. Theirs, and yours - I know.

Thanks for considering this request, and for your past support.

Warm regards,
Coleen

Coleen Higa, Community Relations Manager
Refugee Foster Care Program
Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County
2625 Zanker Rd., Ste. 201
San Jose, CA 95134
408.325.5159
coleen@ccsj. org
www.ccsj.org

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