Judging by comments to this story in the Centre Daily Times, local folks are not too happy about the plan.
State College is used to newcomers — incoming Penn State freshmen, university families, job-seekers, retirees. If a global humanitarian agency’s plans come to pass, more fresh faces will join the community.
Church World Service, out of New York City, is considering opening a local refugee resettlement office here. Last fall, the organization met with municipal officials, human-service leaders and church representatives to discuss the prospect of relocating about 40 people in the first year, and then about 100 annually.
As some housing advocates worry about finding affordable apartments in a tight market, Church World Service expects to hire an office director soon.
As one of 10 agencies in partnership with the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, it runs 34 local offices, mainly in large cities but also in midsize towns. The Lancaster office last year resettled the fifth-most refugees among all branches, trailing only Indianapolis; Columbus, Ohio; Los Angeles and Phoenix in ascending order.
Read the article, there is a discussion about the lack of affordable housing in a town where students pool their money and share homes and apartments. Then there is this comment that makes me laugh:
For Corman [director of county adult services], one issue could be increased demand for social services already strained by budget cuts. Walters [county housing case manager] wants assurance Church World Service will help refugees beyond resettlement.
Laughing my head off! State College, you will be lucky if the refugees are properly cared for in the first 6-8 months, then they will be all yours after that! So, tell me, what constitutes an assurance? And, what is the penalty if they don’t follow through?
Readers, I don’t want to go into a long history lesson, but Judy and I started following refugee issues in 2007 when Church World Service (CWS) began to send its refugee overflow from Lancaster, PA to Hagerstown, MD. That was the beginning of the story, and the end is that they are not bringing refugees to Hagerstown now.
Readers comments to the Centre Daily Times appear to be universally negative.
Church World Service a radical left wing organization says one commenter:
Look under the covers as to who the radical leftists in the State College Borough are welcoming to our area. Check out the website for pro-Dream Act Church World Service and you will find every left wing cause in the known universe hypocritically masked as the work of God with a Communist vocabulary. Do a careful google for Church World Service in this regard and see a liberalization theology political arm that has no problem contributing to communist causes worldwide, and which promotes the entirety of a culture-of-eternal-death, proving that the CWS serves another master.
See my post, one of several on CWS, here, and the other occupants of their New York City office building.
Who is going to pay for them, asked another commenter:
Wow get real, More medical assistance, more food stamps, There is no affordable housing, NO Good Jobs . Who is going to pay for them to move here ? 100 annually. Get Real .
Yet another commenter says, Lancaster is crime ridden:
Lancaster has one of the highest crime rates in PA..wonder why?
I tried to figure out exactly where Lancaster fell in the crime rate for Pennsylvania. I don’t know if it has the worst crime rate, but this should be interesting to you. At this site the crime rate for Lancaster is 9 (100 being the safest) and Philadelphia is 12 (100 being the safest)—what does that tell you!
Lancaster is considered near the heart of the Pennsylvania Dutch country and you know the Amish aren’t contributing much to the crime rate.
As a matter of fact, when refugees were being sent to Hagerstown in 2007, we learned that there had been some crime issue in Lancaster and CWS was told to not bring more for awhile. Guess Lancaster has relented and refugees are still arriving there, but it looks like CWS has its sites set on State College now.