Welcome to Bridge Refuge Services
Get to Know Us
This week in our Get to Know Us series features one of our case managers, Kyle Howe. Kyle moved with his wife, Katie, from Mississippi to Knoxville last year. We're glad to have such a hard-working individual as part of our team!
I was working for American Eagle Airlines in Jackson, MS in 2009 when I was asked the question, “What gates do the Delta flights arrive at?” I noticed that the man asking me was wearing a Catholic Charities nametag that said “Refugee Case Manager.” Intrigued, I asked him, “What is a Refugee Case Manager?” My question resulted in a 45-minute conversation that provided a necessary spark that led me to finish my undergraduate work in Religious/Peace Studies. This provided me the opportunity to work directly with Sudanese refugees living in Jackson, and eventually to move to Knoxville, TN to be a refugee case manager.
I have been a Case Manager at Bridge Refugee Services in Knoxville since July 1st, 2013. The bulk of my job deals with essential R&P (Resettlement and Placement) requirements. Some examples of these requirements are: preparing apartments for an arriving refugee family, meeting the family at the airport, and orienting the family on personal and public safety, the health system, US laws and customs, learning English, family budgeting, and job counseling. The work of a Case Manager is an integral part of the resettlement process, and together with the rest of the Bridge staff, we each have the incredible opportunity of equipping and empowering resettled refugees to rebuild their lives here in Knoxville with self-sufficiency as a shared goal.
The best part of my job is enabling refugee families to overcome the many obstacles they will face in Knoxville, and then getting to see those obstacles overcome! This is not always an easy journey, but one that is tremendously worthwhile. My experience working with vulnerable populations in Kenya, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, and Mexico showed me the resilience and strength of humanity as we all work together sharing in each other’s struggles and together living dignified and meaningful lives. This lesson directly translates to my work as a Case Manager, and it’s an honor to be on the journey with refugees as they rebuild their lives in the United States.