Another story about refugees living in deplorable housing, this time in San Antonio, Texas

And, this time rather than the International Rescue Committee getting the blame (as they did in California), it is Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of San Antonio.
Catholic refugee agency worker:

The charity’s “model of resettlement has not really changed for 20, 30 years. They still basically do what they’re required to do, but they don’t do any more.”

Jose Antonio Fernandez
Jose Antonio Fernandez, CEO of Catholic Charities San Antonio says the agency received $7.5 million in 2016 from the federal government to help 1,900 refugees. What! Over $3,900 for every man woman and child!

Sounds like they are taking in more refugees than they can adequately provide for!!!
Not enough decent housing that is also cheap they wail.  But, I have noticed over the years that the answer is never that there might be too many refugees entering the US!
And, with rich agencies like Catholic Charities, maybe they could pony-up with some of their own private Christian-charity dollars rather than depending on the US taxpayer to supply them with more!
As I reported here, just yesterday, Texas is the number one refugee-welcoming state in the nation right now!
Sounds like Texas, and its stable of ‘charities’, are ‘welcoming’ more refugees than they can adequately provide for!!!

From San Antonio Express:

Refugees flee war-torn homelands for deteriorating apartment complexes in S.A.

The story begins with the usual sympathetic refugee (but be sure to read the whole article, Mohammad may not be the best choice as their poster child).

Mohammad Alshokri came to San Antonio as a refugee from the regime of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, whose security forces beat him so severely that both his legs were amputated above the knee. But he has not yet found his happy ending in the Alamo City.

Shortly after his plane landed in April of last year, Alshokri arrived at his new home of Auburn Creek, a 40-year-old apartment complex that is the subject of a long list of city code complaints.

Alshokri’s first year in the U.S. was a stressful one, he said, as he tried and failed to get the complex’s management to fix a broken doorknob, a leaky ceiling and a malfunctioning air conditioner. The complex served him with several eviction notices while he struggled to build a life in a city 7,000 miles from his native country.
While they have found safety in the Alamo City, Alshokri and other refugees contend with grim living conditions and inattentive landlords at Auburn Creek and other apartment complexes, according to interviews with more than 15 refugees and nonprofit advocates who work with them.

Syrian in San Antonio
Alshokri points to spot on kitchen ceiling where a leak had occurred.  Looks like a pretty nice apartment to me!  Photo: San Antonio Express

They complain of leaky plumbing, broken appliances, collapsing ceilings, rat and rodent infestations, and faulty air conditioning that can turn their homes into saunas during San Antonio’s brutal summers.

Many refugees are placed in the Medical Center area on the Northwest Side through a program that local nonprofit Catholic Charities runs on behalf of the federal government.


“This is not a house. It is a prison,” Alshokri said through an interpreter.


Refugees have a high risk of ending up in substandard housing because they often don’t speak English, have little formal education and are particularly fearful of challenging authority given their experience in their homelands, charity workers said.

Perhaps, but they don’t pick their apartments, that is what we, the taxpayers, pay Catholic Charities to do.

The refugees frequently have no choice but to live in rundown apartments because few complexes will accept a tenant with no credit, rental history or Social Security number, refugees and advocates said. Some of them can’t read rental contracts, are unfamiliar with their rights as tenants or are afraid to pursue cases against landlords out of fear that they could be thrown out or have their credit damaged, they said.


The federal government partners with local agencies to find “safe and affordable housing” and help them become self-sufficient.

In San Antonio, that agency is Catholic Charities, the charitable arm of the Archdiocese of San Antonio. The charity settles refugees in seven or eight local complexes, many of them in the Medical Center area, President and CEO J. Antonio Fernandez said in an interview. In 2016, it received $7.5 million from the federal government to help 1,900 refugees.

The charity has trouble finding landlords who are willing to take in refugees, Fernandez said.


The charity has contracts with owners of apartment complexes who agree to take in refugees at discounted rates, Fernandez said. It tries to place the refugees near family members or others from the same communities.

Along with providing furniture, Catholic Charities pays the refugees’ rent for six months, Fernandez said. [Six months? More like three!—-ed].  A worker with the charity acts as a guide for each family, helping them find jobs and navigate social services. [Navigate social services is code for sign them up for welfare—ed]

Before the family moves in, a worker inspects their apartment for mold, frayed wires, peeling paint, smoke detectors and other problems, according to Catholic Charities. Workers are supposed to visit each apartment within 24 hours of the family’s arrival, and again within a month, to check on its members’ well-being.

Some refugees said they were thankful for the help. But others, and some volunteers who work with them, criticized the charity for placing people in shabby complexes and for overloading their case workers, making it difficult for them to devote much attention to each family.

Here we go! It is Donald Trump’s fault!  He isn’t sending CC enough moola!

“Catholic Charities does the best they can do with the resources they have,” said Margaret Costantino, director of CRS, pointing out that the Trump administration has cut federal funding for resettlement.

The charity’s “model of resettlement has not really changed for 20, 30 years. They still basically do what they’re required to do, but they don’t do any more.”

Fernandez defended the case workers. The charity has started inspecting apartments more often and doing more to educate refugees, Fernandez said.

More here.
Time to reform the whole damn program and the answer is NOT to send ‘Religious Charities’ more of our tax dollars!
Let the good Catholics support the refugees entirely!
A reader recently sent us this news story about a new study by Catholic Charities and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops about how economically well their refugees are doing.
So here is what the reader suggested—if the refugees do so well, maybe Catholic Charities and the Bishops could loan the refugees all the money they need to get started on life in America knowing they will be repaid later as the refugees succeed.
One last thing.  It was Syrians complaining about substandard housing in New Jersey recently, see here.  Just saying!

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