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Catholic Charities of Buffalo Awarded Funding for Immigration and Refugee Assistance Program

By February 15, 2019August 16th, 2021Immigration

by Nancy Steves

Nearly $2.9 million will enhance education, employment and self-sufficiency programs

Fri, Feb 15th 2019 11:00 am

Catholic Charities of Buffalo was recently named a recipient of two grant awards totaling nearly $2.9 million, over five years, to support the services it provides through its Immigration and Refugee Assistance Program (IRAP), especially addressing barriers to employment and self-sufficiency.

The New York State Office of Temporary Disability Assistance selected Catholic Charities for a New York State Refugee Social Services Program (RSSP) award of up to $2,721,950, available over 63 months through March 2024.  The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Migration and Refugee Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement Preferred Communities program (ORR-PC) awarded $150,000 for services to support vulnerable refugee groups.

Catholic Charities’ IRAP will use the funds to help refugees become economically self-reliant by obtaining, retaining or obtaining better employment.

The purpose of the RSSP is to support employability and other services that will address barriers to employment for refugees such as social and cultural adjustment, job search skills, work experience and English proficiency. The services will be designed to help refugees and their families achieve economic and social self-sufficiency as soon as possible after their arrival in the United States.

The $150,000 grant from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is designated to provide for intensive case management services and other special programming for vulnerable refugee populations including the elderly, women at risk, clients with complex medical conditions and individuals suffering from mental health conditions such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and/or gender-based violence.

Since the early 1990s, preferred communities have provided resettlement services to newly arriving refugees. Preferred communities allow ample opportunities for early employment and sustained economic independence. In addition, they support special needs populations.

“Catholic Charities of Buffalo is gratified by the confidence shown by our funders in our services,” said Dennis C. Walczyk, Catholic Charities of Buffalo president and CEO. “These grants ensure that we can continue to address education and employment needs, and even enhance these services to boost economic self-sufficiency and success for all of our refugees. We are always very impressed by the resiliency and motivation that our new arrivals demonstrate every day! They are a key factor in Buffalo’s resurgence.”

Catholic Charities of Buffalo has provided services to the immigrant and refugee populations in Western New York since Catholic Charities was established in 1923. Individuals resettled by Catholic Charities arrive in the United States through the auspices of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops/Migration Refugee Services (USCCB/MRS). Pre- and post-arrival services such as assistance with housing, food, clothing, employment and classes for English Language Learners Individuals are accepted regardless of religious background and services are provided on a non-sectarian basis.

As the most comprehensive human service provider in Western New York, Catholic Charities makes a difference for people of every faith and ethnicity. Catholic Charities empowers children, families and seniors to achieve meaningful, health and productive lives. In all situations, Catholic Charities delivers support to meet immediate needs, and then assesses clients for other needs to ensure long-term success.

Catholic Charities is an excellent steward of the contributions it receives. For five years, Catholic Charities attained the highest-possible rating (four stars) from Charity Navigator for transparency and sound fiscal management. Catholic Charities also receives the highest ratings from the Council on Accreditation for quality service.

For more information about the organization and its programs and services, contact Catholic Charities at (716) 218-1400 or go to You can also find Catholic Charities on Facebook at, on Twitter at and on Instagram at