Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services, (SFBFS) in partnership with the Diocese of Sacramento, began offering Refugee Resettlement Services in February 2015. Under a contract and close collaboration with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Migration and Refugee Services (MRS) Office, SFBFS will welcome, orient and resettle 65 newcomers to our community in 2016.
Refugees are individuals who have fled their countries of origin and who meet the United Nations’ criteria of having a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion. The 2009 World Refugee Survey reports that there are more than 14 million refugees worldwide. Each year the President of the United States authorizes the admission of a certain number of refugees into the country. In recent years, the U.S. has accepted between 50,000 to 75,000 refugees per year.
USCCB is one of nine national agencies that contracts with the United States State Department, Office of Refugee Resettlement, resettling 30% of all refugees that arrive in the U.S. annually. SFBFS is one of four resettlement agencies in Sacramento serving refugees.
Refugees, having suffered great loss, including loss of their homes, livelihoods, possessions and often times families, need assistance starting over in a new country. Their initial needs include food, clothing, shelter, employment, English as a Second Language and orientation to a new community and culture.
SFBFS plans each family's first 90 days after arrival including furnishing appropriate housing, receiving the family at the airport and providing all of the essentials for the family such as food, clothing and household needs. SFBFS also assists each family with signing up for all applicable benefits including CalFresh, enrolling in English as a Second Language classes and job placement and training programs, scheduling medical appointments, adjusting to life in the US, registering children for school and much more.