Humm! Sound familiar, same old story, this time it’s Jewish Vocational Services, an affiliate of the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) making the news. This article was posted at Kansas City.com in May. We missed it then but it came to our attention when a follow-up article was reported yesterday in the Jewish Chronicle. I’ll write about the follow-up in part 2.
From Kansas City.com:
In their first month of life in Kansas City, Sudanese refugees Elamin Suraj, Wafa Kut and their three young children had no hot running water.
The Peery Street apartment provided to the family had other issues, too: grime on the walls, basement mold, cupboard doors that fell off the hinges and a lonely couch so dirty that Suraj, the father, refused to sit on it.
“Please take me back to refugee camp if government can’t help me,” he wrote earlier this month to Jewish Vocational Service, the nonprofit agency that brought his family here.
A mile away on Maple Street, a Somali family of eight — none of them with jobs — faces eviction just five months into their American experience.
“Why do they bring us here if there’s no money to help us get started?” said Asma Siraj, 21, whose siblings share two apartment units, one in which the fourth and fifth months’ rent are overdue.
Readers, you get the picture, we have now written dozens of posts on this very same problem, resettlement agencies won’t say no to more refugees because they receive their government payments by the head and so they keep bringing them in, putting them in substandard housing (slums!) and then cry that they have no money.
USCRI seems to be a leader in this strategy. See this post of a few days ago where a commenter in Vermont says the same thing about an USCRI affiliate there (note the other links in that post to other cities and other affiliates).
A State Department spokesman reminds us again that these agencies, like Jewish Vocational Services, are part of a public-private partnership and they are supposed to come up with the extra needed funds.
But even in a sour job market, federal authorities expect resettlement groups such as Jewish Vocational Service to cover refugees’ essential needs for up to six months, if need be.
“These groups are signing a cooperative agreement based on the idea that they will make these payments,” mostly through private fundraising and matching grants, said U.S. State Department spokesman Todd Pierce. “Otherwise they wouldn’t be accepting the refugees.”
All of the above is the same old story. But, this one line is what really got my attention.
At least two top directors at the agency tendered their resignations this spring, citing management decisions and their impact on the clients.
That is the story I would like to know more about!