Refugee resettlement is a collective effort among the very largest, most powerful governments and organizations to the very smallest local foundation, church or business. We are grateful for all of these who play a role.
National Resettlement Agencies
Once refugees have been approved by the various federal agencies for travel, the U.S. State Department’s Bureau for Population, Refugees and Migration program coordinates admission of refugees and their allocation to specific cities with local resettlement agencies—such as Bridge. This process happens through the auspices of nine national agencies, part of the unique public-private partnership that provides services for refugees across the country. Bridge partners with Episcopal Migration Ministries in this reception and placement process.
Episcopal Migration Ministries: Episcopal Migration Ministries’ vision honors both the Episcopal Church’s baptismal covenant and the historical role of the United States as a safe haven for those seeking freedom from oppression. EMM is committed to carrying these values and commitments forward into the future on behalf of the Church. EMM provides funding for resettlement services and early-employment programming.
In addition to the partnership that brings refugees to Knoxville, Bridge is supported through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement to provide longer-term services including cash and medical assistance, English classes, employment services and other support. Through these programs, facilitated through Catholic Charities’ Tennessee Office for Refugees, clients qualify for a more limited level of assistance for up to five years.
Tennessee Office for Refugees (TOR): The Tennessee Office for Refugees’ mission is to foster growth, integration, and self-sufficiency by providing financial, technical, and professional support to refugees and the agencies who serve them in the State of Tennessee. TOR provides Bridge Refugee Services with funding for employment and case management services, intensive case management, health promotion programs, cash and medical assistance, elderly programs, and school impact services.