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Governor Hochul Announces $20M To Help Refugees Find, Maintain Employment

Funding to assist recently resettled refugees transition to life in New York state
Governor Kathy Hochul
Governor Kathy Hochul

Governor Kathy Hochul has announced $20 million in funding for 17 community-based organizations that help refugees become employed while adjusting to their new homes in New York State, with $3.6 million of this funding staying in New York City. 

“New York State has a proud history of welcoming those displaced by violence or fleeing persecution with open arms,” Governor Hochul said. “These investments will lift up refugee communities, and represent our unwavering commitment to the possibility and promise they bring to our state.” 

The Refugee Support Services Program, which is funded by the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement, continues to be a fundamental part of the state’s successful efforts to resettle refugees in communities across New York. The program provides services including addressing barriers to employment, such as social and cultural adjustment, job search skills, work experience, and English proficiency. Transitional services are also provided to ensure continued employment and to enhance opportunities for advancement.

The Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance’s Refugee Services bureau is responsible for the implementation of programs and services to assist refugees in New York State. Federal resources are directed to local entities that help refugees and their families, as well as others in a similar immigration status, to achieve economic and social self-sufficiency.

“New York’s heritage is heavily influenced by our willingness to accept and help people fleeing persecution, violence, and intolerance abroad," said Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Barbara C. Guinn. "As we recognized World Refugee Day this week, we continue that proud tradition by providing a safe haven for these individuals and families, along with the support they need to start life anew in our state.”

The New York City not-for-profit refugee services providers include:

  • Catholic Charities Community Services, Archdiocese of New York – NYC: $802,400
  • Shorefront YM-YWHA of Brighton-Manhattan Beach Inc.: $1,469,300
  • CAMBA Inc.: $400,000
  • Center for Family Life in Sunset Park Inc.: $548,679
  • El Barrio’s Operation Fight Back Inc.: $410,000

“Center for Family Life in Sunset Park is deeply honored to participate in the New York State Refugee Support Services Program, which is being implemented by the New York State Office of Temporary Disability Assistance," Center for Family Life In Sunset Park Co-Executive Director Julia Jean-Francois said. "We are committed to providing employment supports as well as wrap around social services supports to refugees and their families in Brooklyn, and we are delighted to welcome some of our newest New Yorkers to our vibrant community. Refugees bring their determination, drive, hopes and dreams for bright futures to our City and we see the meaningful contribution that refugees and their family members make every day to a strong and resilient New York.”

New York State welcomed nearly 4,200 refugees or individuals on Special Immigrant Visas between October 2022 through September 2023, with most of these individuals resettling in communities upstate. These refugees included 991 from Afghanistan, 912 from the Democratic Republic of Congo, 717 from Syria, 541 from Burma, and 122 from Colombia.

Refugees are the most scrutinized and vetted individuals to travel to the United States, refugees living in New York make significant contributions to the state’s economy as earners, taxpayers, and consumers. Refugee households earned an estimated $6.2 billion annually and contribute roughly $2 billion in federal, state and local taxes.