Every year, Catholic Charities Southwestern Ohio provides counseling and support to approximately 250 international refugees of all faiths as they settle in the Greater Cincinnati area. From the moment the refugees step off of a plane, Catholic Charities Southwestern Ohio takes responsibility for meeting their basic needs for food, clothing, housing, household goods, furniture, medical care, and transportation as well as for helping them in becoming self-sufficient and integrated in their new society. Additional services provided include case management to ensure that health screenings and insurance paperwork are completed; assistance with obtaining Social Security cards, food stamps, and a medical card; and orientation workshops to aid in acculturation and adjustment to community life. The program goals place an emphasis on obtaining permanent employment, developing a career path, attaining self-sufficiency, and reuniting with family members. The program continues to offer help indefinitely as long as refugees require it through acculturation, employment, career, and counseling services. The Urban Health Project intern provides much needed assistance in day-to-day operations and projects, especially as they relate to medical needs and concerns.
- Improve their understanding of community services as they relate to Medicaid, food stamps, health insurance, employment, etc..
- Appreciate the cultural, financial, and practical obstacles refugees face in relocating to a new country.
- Learn about other cultures.
- Review the following websites before starting work to gather a basic understanding of obstacles refugees face.
- The UN Refugee Agency website (www.unhcr.org)
- The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Migration & Refugee Services website (www.usccb.org/mrs/)
- Participate in on-the-job training to gain familiarity with the organization.
- Assist refugees in attending medical appointments and health screenings and in applying for a medical card, welfare, and citizenship.
- Work closely with case managers.
- Provide organizational assistance with finding individualized resources as needed to meet particular needs.
- Have the opportunity to take part in optional activities, such as the World Refugee Day, outside the weekday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. work hours.
- Teach or assist with job readiness or English as a Second Language classes
- Prepare homes for new client arrivals
&ldqu;Catholic Charities of Southwestern Ohio Refugee Resettlement resettles all refugees that come through Cincinnati. As an intern, you will be supporting the staff/refugees with whatever they need. This summer they needed a lot of assistance with transporting clients to medical appointments so that is where I have been filling in!
- 8:30 - Catching up on emails and documenting notes from the day before
- 10:00 - Heading out to take a client to an X-ray!
- 11:30 - Stopped by the pharmacy to pick up a prescription for a different client to drop off to them later.
- 2:30 - At my last appointment of the day, waiting for my client to be finished!
End summary - I have learned so much about the refugee resettlement process and the obstacles that continue to plague them as they acclimate to life in the United States. It has been so rewarding to be able to assist my clients in a tangible way and really make a difference in the community!”
– Claire Jenkins