Ft. Wayne, IN to get federal grants as refugee numbers continue to grow

Your tax dollars:

There is really nothing new here.  Ft. Wayne, IN has been struggling with a large refugee population for years and expects it to only get worse.

“You’re seeing the tip of a huge iceberg. This has been going on for years,” Rep. Mark Souder, R-3rd District, said of the issues surrounding the more than 5,000 Burmese refugees who have come to Fort Wayne. At least 800 new Burmese refugees have or will arrive this year, and officials said Friday that 1,000 to 2,000 Burmese refugees may be resettled here by the State Department yearly for the next three years. Fort Wayne also is home to refugees from Somalia, Sudan and other countries who fled religious or political persecution.

But, the pressure on the city may be somewhat relieved by the arrival of federal tax dollars.  A refugee center is being developed to expedite and streamline refugees’ enrollment into various welfare programs.

Finding one place where refugees can sign up for government benefits, connect with potential employers and access community resources has been the most crucial need identified by thousands who have arrived in Fort Wayne in recent years, as well as by the agencies that serve them.

That hope will turn into reality in a few weeks when the Community Resource Center for Refugees opens at 2826 S. Calhoun St., in the former offices of AWS. The center is being funded through $490,000 in 17-month, renewable taxpayer grants from the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement…..


Mitch Roob, Indiana secretary of the Family and Social Services Administration, also announced Friday that FSSA will set up a new office within the resource center to help refugees receive food stamps, cash assistance and Medicaid. By law, refugees are eligible for up to eight months of benefits….

According to this News-Sentinel article the refugees were lured to the city of Ft. Wayne by its “welcoming” churches and the prospect of jobs that have since dried up.

Use our search function for more information.  We first heard about Ft. Wayne when the Health Department of Allen County was hysterical over the large number of TB positive refugees they were seeing and the general increase in expenses to handle large numbers of refugees in need of health care and immunizations.

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