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 welcomed, oriented and resettled 129 newcomers to our community in 2016 and expect a similar number in 2017.
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. Other agencies and their impact numbers are listed below.
Opening Doors, Inc - Approximately 720 refugees are supported through Opening Doors each year
International Rescue Committee - Helped resettle 9,961 newly arrived refugees in 2015
World Relief Sacramento - More than 30,000 helped over the last 27 years
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.