Refugee Programs

Resettlement Program

For over thirty-five years, Catholic Charities Immigration and Refugee Services Program has assisted in the resettlement of over 12,000 refugees in the Central Florida area. Refugees have arrived from many countries including Vietnam, Laos, Cuba, Ethiopia, Russia, Haiti, Bosnia and Sudan.

ResettlementA refugee is defined as a person who must leave his or her own country due to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion.

After spending several years in a third country or refugee camp, families are screened by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and then interviewed for resettlement by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Approved families and individuals are eventually assigned to national voluntary agencies who then refer cases to local affiliates like Catholic Charities.

The agency assists families through their transition into a new culture, helping them ultimately to become self-sufficient. Catholic Charities case managers along with relatives, churches, and civic organizations work cooperatively to effectively resettle refugee families in the Central Florida area

The case managers of Catholic Charities provides newly arriving refugees with the following services:

  • meet new arrivals at the airport
  • arrange for housing and basic necessities upon arrival
  • cultural orientation
  • orientation to the community
  • referral to area English classes
  • offer transportation and interpretation to health service providers
  • provide employment counseling and job placement

The help of volunteers, churches and civic groups are necessary if families are to feel welcome and adjust to a new life in Central Florida. If you are interested in assisting in the resettlement of a refugee family please contact Anita Capetillo at at (407) 658-1818 ext 2020 or You can also visit How to Help on this website..

For more information on resettlement please contact Glenda Agosto at (407) 658-1818 ext 2061 or

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