Refugee Resettlement

Strengthening Familiespic_refugee

Catholic Charities has been providing refugee resettlement services since 1940 throughout the 30 northeast counties of Iowa. In partnership with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Catholic Charities helps refugee families from all over the world, who have suffered war, tyranny and persecution in their home countries, to relocate and begin the process of starting a new life in an Iowa community. 

Upon entry into the United States, Catholic Charities assists the newcomers to secure housing, food and clothing, translation, medical services, and school enrollment, and to assimilate to a new community and culture, aiding in their growth towards self-sufficiency. This process all takes place within 90 days.

Vulnerable Care Services

Sometimes, 90 days is not enough time for refugee families to reach self-sufficiency. In those cases, or for other refugees in the community who have come to the United States in the past year, Catholic Charities offers ongoing case management through Vulnerable Care Services. This program is administered by USCCB and funded through a Cooperative Agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Administration on Children and Families (ACF), Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR).

If you, or someone you know, would like to enroll in this program, please contact Caleb Gates, Case Manager, c.gates@dbqarch.org

Employment Services

Securing stable employment in the United States is key for refugees to achieve self-sufficiency. Our Employment Services is comprised of two main programs: Navigation and an intensive Job Readiness Class. Our Employment Specialist and Employment Navigators provide one-on-one assistance to refugees in the Cedar Rapids community to obtain and retain employment. Participants in this program are navigated through each part of the employment process: from assistance creating a resume and filling out applications, to having access to transportation and interpretation during interviews and orientations.

For those in the community who are not quite ready for employment, we offer a Job Readiness Class. This intensive, English immersive course runs for five weeks, four days a week, from 9am-4pm. Topics covered in the class range from basic workplace vocabulary and safety, to more complex concepts such as quality control, time management, and financial literacy. 

If you would like to learn more about our Employment Services program or know the start date for our next Job Readiness Class, please contact Terina Heidelberg, Employment Specialist, t.heidelberg@dbqarch.org.

Refugee Resettlement services available in throughout the Archdiocese with program headquarters in Cedar Rapids.

  • To learn about individual volunteering opportunities, visit our volunteering page, or contact Agnes Kress, Volunteer Coordinator, a.kress@dbqarch.org
  • Click here to learn more about our Families Strengthening Families Mentoring Program for parish/group volunteering