Friends of Refugees

A U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program Watchdog Group

Refugee reports that Houston’s Interfaith Ministries also severely deficient in services

Posted by Christopher Coen on March 4, 2011

A refugee client of Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston, an affiliate of CWS and EMM, wrote to us today about deficient services at the agency. The refugee reported the following problems:

  • Agency placed refugees in apartments overrun with roaches (over walls and in every drawer – over spoons and forks)
  • Agency gave refugees mattresses that are extremely uncomfortable (refugees switch between flipping the mattress different directions and sleeping on the floor.)
  • Agency failed to give refugees blankets for days until refugee clients inquired.
  • Bad bad bad community/cultural orientation.
  • Agency asked other refugees who arrived a few days earlier to take new refugees to the bus stop and markets, even though those refugees didn’t know what to do in the bus – how to pay, how to stop, or where to stop.
  • Not enough furniture (Operational Guidance, see Furnishings).
  • Agency did not explain the apartment leases to refugees before refugees signed them, and was not with the refugees at the lease signings.
  • Late medical exams
  • A refugee with health problems didn’t get his/her medicine for months. Agency didn’t try to find solutions. Refugee had to ask someone at the agency where to go and what clinic.
  • Poor quality English classes.
  • Agency gave refugees leads to low-quality jobs.

Here is a 2001 inspection report for Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston (the most recently available inspection report, which means they have not been inspected in quite some time).

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One Response to “Refugee reports that Houston’s Interfaith Ministries also severely deficient in services”

  1. Anonymous refugee said

    After reviewing the Operational Guidance you attached there are more things Interfaith didn’t provide and the excuse was the limits of furnishing budget for each person or family. The orientation was thumbed down… didn’t know if they were doing an orientation. In general the orientation in all agencies need to be updated. Any step didn’t take in concerns who is the refugee, from where, what education or knowledge, the English language level, experience, age, tradition from refugee country and / or any tradition and believes, gander, housing different roommates in one bed room not considering the above and another habits such as life style or smoking and again one bed room or studio. Prepare IDs or employment cards. Refugee didn’t know what to ask for sometimes and agency didn’t clear. Refer non-employable refugees didn’t happen unless refugee hear stories from others had same problems.
    Ensure that refugees with acute health care requirements receive appropriate and timely medical attention.. Happened after refugee talked with many and for many times… And more

    Thanks for following

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