Missouri: Catholic refugee agency complains about cuts to their federal funding

Here is my solution for those doing Christian ‘charitable’ work for refugees—find more VOLUNTEERS! 

Do Catholics have to be paid by taxpayers to do their religious charitable work, it sure sounds like it!

Everywhere I turn there is a new story about how that mean ol’ Donald Trump is cutting the funding to ‘non-profit’ ‘humanitarian’ groups who place refugees in your towns and cities.  There are so many now I don’t post most of them.

This story, however, from Columbia, Missouri had a few nuggets of information, one in particular was new to me.

Refugee and Immigration Services, operated by Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri says it is being paid $4,000 a head per refugee it places.  Yikes! That is almost twice any number we have ever seen for the per head payment.

 

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Somali family welcomed to Columbia by Catholic Charities in wake of Trump 2017 ban.     //www.columbiamissourian.com/news/local/somali-refugees-affected-by-the-travel-ban-arrive-in-columbia/article_f7645b92-f54b-11e6-a52c-ab441118728a.html

 

From the Missourian:

Cuts to refugee admissions hit Columbia resettlement agency

The staff at Refugee and Immigration Services has been under increasing pressure, given the caps President Donald Trump has placed on the number of refugees allowed to enter the country. Those diminishing caps result in less federal money for agencies that serve refugees.

[….]

The budget from fiscal 2017 to fiscal 2018 fell from $1 million to around $625,000, Dan Lester, director of Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri, said. The local office also went from staff of 11 to seven, with only four being full-time. That means more duties for fewer people.

I just had a look at a recent Form 990 for this Catholic agency and yes they did receive a million dollars of taxpayer money and approximately $793,000 of it went to salaries, benefits, and pension plans for employees

The agency, which is funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has traditionally received about $4,000 per refugee to provide services during their first six to 12 months in the country, Lester said.

Agencies must help provide:

Payment for their first six months of rent.

Clothing, food and all daily household items.

Assistance in finding a job.

Access to English classes.

Access to social programs they may need, such as counseling or SNAP benefits. [Other welfare—ed]

Orientation into an entirely new culture.

It seems to me that most of that list could be handled by volunteers and private donations!

The Missourian continues…

While the agency still gets its $4,000 per refugee, that funding doesn’t factor in those who came to Columbia in previous years and still rely on local services, Finn said. [That is funny because we are told repeatedly that refugees are self-sufficient and on their own in under 6 months. Hmmm!—ed]

“We just don’t have the time and energy to give the refugees that we used to,” Finn said. “Everyone has a lot more families to work with.”

“Time and energy” sounds like something they could get for free from volunteers!

More here.

By the way, Catholic Charities are usually under the umbrella of their primary federal contractor—The US Conference of Catholic Bishops—for their refugee allotment each year.


Click here to read the full article on its original website.