Frequently Asked Questions

Why are refugees here?

Refugees are individuals or families who come here because they had to flee their homeland and are unable to return because of persecution or fear of persecution. Most refugees would rather live and work in their native country.

How do refugees receive money?

Each refugee receives an initial one time allotment of $925. These funds are referred to as Reception and Placement or RP money. Typically, this money is used to cover rental deposits and pro-rates, furnishing, initial food, utilities,  and/or other items not donated by the local community to re-establish their new life. The money must be spent on their behalf or given to the refugee within 90 days of arrival.

In addition, refugees are eligible for Cash Assistance from the government or from the resettlement agency in the form of Match Grant. The refugee must apply for these benefits and meet an income and resource test to qualify for any assistance,  just as U.S. applicants do. In addition, refugees must follow rules and guidelines to maintain these benefits. These responsibilities include actively seeking and maintaining employment.

Do churches bring refugees into the community?

Refugee resettlement is a program operated by the US government. Each year the President issues a Presidential Determination which establishes for the following year the number of refugees to be admitted and from which regions of the world. The U.S. Department of State along with the Department of Homeland Security, has a cooperative agreement with 9 resettlement agencies, some of which have religious affiliations but are not allowed to evangelize. Three of the 9 agencies have local affiliates here in Indianapolis, IN. These three national agencies are the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), which is Catholic Charities Indianapolis. The other two are Church World Service (CWS) and Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM), which is Exodus.

How can refugees afford to buy houses?

Refugees legally come, by invitation from the U.S. Government. Upon arrival, they receive employment authorization cards. Desiring to become self-sufficient, refugees must apply and compete for jobs. Refugees also make jobs. They open new businesses that employ refugees as well as others living in the community. Refugees bring new energy and creativity into U.S. communities. As part of their pursuit of living the American Dream, importance is placed on home ownership. To achieve this goal, they live within their means, working for years until they have saved enough money for a down payment on a home.

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