The program assists local families with reunification, resettlement and the self sufficiency of relatives who enter the United States as refugees, Cuban/ Haitian entrants or parolees. Resettled refugees without sponsoring family members in the United States, and foreign nationals in the United States who have been granted asylum by the Immigration Courts.

Who are Refugees?

Refugees are families and individuals who have fled their countries of origin “because of a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion.”

Refugees often live in refugee camps for years, enduring overcrowded conditions, very small rations of food, and little or no health care. Their children often cannot attend school and adults have no means to independently support themselves or their families. Refugees arrive in the United States motivated to build a new life, and most refugees become self-sufficient within months of arriving. After ten years, studies show that refugees are usually as well-off as native-born Americans.

Our current refugees are Bhutanese, Cuban, Haitian, Burmese, Iraqi and Afghans. We are also beginning to receive some African family reunification cases which were halted for awhile after 9/11.

How We Serve:

We serve an average of 400 individuals per year with the goal of helping refugees become self-sufficient within three to four months of arrival, our services include assistance in: Airport reception, assistance with housing, job readiness, limited financial assistance, furniture, food, educations and ESL.

Mailing and Street Address

Providence Center
134 East Church Street
Jacksonville, FL 32202
(904) 354-4846
Fax: (904) 224-0088

Michelle Karolak, ext. 226

Refugee Resettlement Job Developer
Frances Luna, ext. 245

Renee Sares, ext. 304

Parishes Organized to Welcome Refugees/Information & Referral
Sarah Maley, ext. 268

Senior Case Managers
LeAndra Stafford, ext. 293

Refugee Resettlement Caseworkers

Siamand Ando, CHEP

Carmen Gonzalez, ext. 240

Ta Yah Htoo, ext. 238

Mollie Irazuzta, ext. 287

ESOL Program Coordinator
Michele Sanon, ext. 252

ESOL Program Specialists
Sara Martin, ext. 215

Administrative Assistant
Hellai Noorzai, ext. 214