Diocese of Trenton is third agency to halt resettlement in New Jersey
Posted by Christopher Coen on June 18, 2012
Citing the rising cost of housing, a lack of available translators (interpreters?), a general shortage of economic opportunities and a diminishing pool of supporting agencies, Catholic Social Services has announced that the Diocese of Trenton will no longer take part in the refugee resettlement program. It is the third agency to drop initial refugee resettlement services in New Jersey recently, following The International Institute of New Jersey closing its doors this month, and Lutheran Service Ministries, another resettlement agency in Trenton, recently shutting down its own resettlement program. Trenton has a large and growing Catholic population, yet the diocese has reduced its presence in the city in recent years. A diocese spokeswoman refused to answer follow-up questions about the shutdown. An article at The Times of Trenton explains:
TRENTON — Overwhelmed by a surge in the refugee resettlement cases it handles, the Diocese of Trenton will close its more than 30-year-old office of migration and refugee services at the end of the month, leaving the region without a resettlement agency…
The diocese said in a statement that its migration and refugee program had faced economic pressures and a bigger workload following changes at another Trenton agency, Lutheran Service Ministries.
“The resettlement program has been challenged by the rising cost of housing, a lack of available translators, a general shortage of economic opportunities and a diminishing pool of supporting agencies, such as Lutheran Services, which recently had to shut down its own resettlement program,” Sister Joanne Dress, executive director of Catholic Social Services, said in the release.
After the Lutheran Services restructuring, the diocesan agency in Trenton went from seeing nine refugee cases in 2009 to 70 last year, including families from Burma, Bhutan and Iraq, the release said. Dress referred an inquiry to a diocese spokeswoman, who refused to answer follow-up questions about the shutdown…
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which sent refugees for resettlement, said the Trenton agency had historically not seen large numbers, as it only resettled people who already had family in the area. As a result, the huge uptick in cases exceeded the capacity of the small diocese office… Read more here
This entry was posted on June 18, 2012 at 9:55 am and is filed under Catholic, employment/jobs for refugees, housing, language, New Jersey, USCCB. Tagged: Catholic Social Services, cost of housing, Diocese of Trenton, International Institute of New Jersey, interpreters, New Jersey, refugees, resettlement, Translators, Trenton. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.