Refugee Services

Who is a Refugee?

Individuals or families that flee their homes, businesses, and communities in order to escape war, persecution or death. They rarely know how long it will be before they might be able to return home and often have no time to plan the departure or pack appropriately. Family records, professional documents, diplomas, photos and other precious items are often left behind.

Catholic Charities Atlanta provides Refugee Services to refugee families arriving in the metro Atlanta area after USCIS approves their application for U.S. resettlement. The extensive resettlement services are designed to help refugees achieve economic and social self-sufficiency within their first six months in the United States.

CCA also provides needed support services in the areas of employment, home management, crisis intervention, financial literacy and medical assistance to refugees who have been living in the United States for less than five years.

The Refugee Services department also includes a program to serve unaccompanied children who cross border into the United States. Services are designed to ensure that children are released into safe environments and have access to educational, healthcare, and legal services while they are in immigration removal proceedings.


“Whatever your position was in your country when you come here, you have to start again at zero. It’s a challenge but just like when you walk up the stairs. You don’t just jump on the stairs.  Life is hard, it is not easy but you have to work.  I started work at Wal-Mart about 2 months after coming here. I worked in the beginning as a worker/ stocker, then I worked as the department manager after 3 months and also the support manager, and right now I am one of the assistant managers.  Catholic Charities gave me a lot of opportunities and have advised me and provided me with all the details I need.”     -Saad from Stone Mountain, Ga.


Who are Refugees?

There are approximately 21.3 million refugees worldwide. Eighty percent of that growing number are women, children or the elderly. Refugees represent some of the most vulnerable, but resilient, members of society. Approximately 85,000 refugees were resettled in the United States in federal fiscal year 2016.

Georgia is home to over 50,000 resettled refugees from all over the world.Refugees are individuals who have fled their countries of origin and meet the United Nations’ criteria of having a “well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.”

Services Provided

Catholic Charities resettles a multitude of refugees each year.
Resettlement Services include:

  • Airport pick-up upon arrival to Atlanta
  • Housing and necessary furnishings
  • Culturally appropriate grocery items & a ready-to-eat meal upon arrival
  • Assistance to access health care
  • Assistance & education to access public transportation
  • Assistance to obtain a Social Security card and other forms of personal identification necessary in the United States
  • Assistance to enroll in English language classes
  • Assistance to enroll children into K-12 education
  • Job readiness and orientation to the U.S. workforce
  • Assistance to obtain employment
  • Orientation to U.S. laws and customs
  • Other services as needed

To contribute to our Welcome Home Project, visit our Volunteer Drives and Projects page here.

Educational Youth Services

Refugee Youth Mentoring Program
Mentors are matched one-to-one with refugee youth between the ages of 9 and 17. Mentors will act as self-esteem boosters, tutors, role-models, and friends and assist and encourage refugee youth as they develop their skills and talents. We are specifically looking for male mentors. If you are interested in being a youth mentor, email Erin Maclay at 

School Impact Program
Our goal is to help refugee parents and youth navigate American schools and help parents become more involved in their children’s education. Services are focused on newly arrived refugee parents and school-aged youth. Services include:

  • After school tutoring and educational support. If you are interested in being a tutor from January-May, click here.
  • Orientation to the American school system
  • Enrichment activities (field trips)
  • Transportation, interpretation and translation for any school-related event
  • Support for families of children referred by school staff

Other Youth Services

Safe Passages for Unaccompanied Children
Services are provided in-home and are designed to ensure that children are released into a safe environment while they are in legal immigration removal proceedings. Home studies are provided for children identified as most vulnerable prior to discharge from temporary childcare homes run by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, and post-release services ensure that children have access to educational, health and mental health care, and legal services.

Central American Minor Affidavit of Relationship Program
We provide assistance in filing an application for an unmarried child under 21 who was born in and is currently living in El Salvador, Guatemala, or Honduras. Please review the requirements for application here.


We resettled 365 refugees from 18 different countries around the world
0 %
of our refugee clients were self-sufficient within 180 days of arrival in the US
0 %
of clients placed in a job were still employed one year later
0 %
of middle school students participating in the tutoring program showed improved academic performance
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