Teaming Up to Assist Refugees

1 decade 2 years 2 months ago Wednesday, October 03 2007 Oct 3, 2007 Wednesday, October 03, 2007 1:47:43 PM CDT October 03, 2007 in News

Refugees from Burundi and the Congo came to the U.S. looking for help. A new initiative wants the state and churches to team up to help groups like theirs get more assistance.

"We feel that we have alot of expertise that we can bring to bear, to assist the citizens of the state," explained Larry Weber from the Missouri Catholic Conference.

Weber says that because most churches are founded on helping others, they will be able to assist the state. He also says the trust people have in their church makes it easier for them to go to faith-based organizations for help.

"There's a little bit more suspicion of government agencies that doesn't necessarily exist with respect to people and their churches," explained Weber.

And social workers say those from far away can make that natural connection.

"Those that are in need in Missouri have an easier way of getting a helping hand," said Celesta Hartgraves from the Missouri Department of Social Services.

And that helping hand is just what faith organizations want to offer in response to the state's invitation.

If you want to help legal immigrants in Mid-Missouri adjust to life in the U.S. call Catholic Charities Refugee & Immigration Services at 573-632-0017.

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