Friends of Refugees

A U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program Watchdog Group

Catholic Charities Rockford put refugees in substandard housing, ignored minimum requirements

Posted by Christopher Coen on February 28, 2011

According to a U.S. State Department Office of Admissions’ monitoring report recently released Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Rockford is yet another refugee resettlement agency that didn’t bother to meet even the minimum requirements of its refugee contract.

The 2007 inspection report noted the following:

  • There were broken or missing fire detectors in three of the four homes monitors visited.
  • The stove was not working in an apartment occupied by three Burmese Chin refugee men.
  • The bathtubs in two Burundian refugee families’ apartment were not functioning properly, in one case resulting in serious – if not dangerous leakage.
  • A Burmese Karen refugee family reported that seepage after rainfall soaks three-quarters of the wall-to-wall living-room carpet.
  • Of the four families monitors visited only one understood orientation subjects required by the Cooperative Agreement (the government refugee contract).
  • A Burundian refugee family and a Burmese Chin refugee man said that no one from Catholic Charities Rockford greeted them upon arrival that spoke any language known to them.

Also see the Operational Guidance contract document which lists minimum requirements that resettlement agencies promise to give refugee clients.

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