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

Director
Michelle Karolak, ext. 226
mkarolak@ccbjax.org

Refugee Resettlement Assistant
Elizabeth Bougis, ext. 267
ebougis@ccbjax.org

Refugee Resettlement Job Developer
Frances Luna, ext. 245
fluna@ccbjax.org

Renee Sares, ext. 304
rsares@ccbjax.org

Information & Referral
Sarah Maley, ext. 268
smaley@ccbjax.org

Refugee Resettlement Caseworkers

Siamand Ando, CHEP
sando@ccbjax.org

Catherine Balbe, ext. 235
cbalbe@ccbjax.org

Carmen Gonzalez, ext. 240
cgonzalez@ccbjax.org

Ta Yah Htoo, ext. 238
thtoo@ccbjax.org

Mollie Irazuzta, ext. 287
mirazuzta@ccbjax.org

Senior Case Managers
LeAndra Stafford, ext. 293
lstafford@ccbjax.org

Mehelle Durgan, ext. 239
mdurgan@ccbjax.org

Pat Nelms, ext. 250
pnelms@ccbjax.org

ESOL Program Specialists
Orlando Berrios, ext. 215
oberrios@ccbjax.org

Akbar Hakimzoda, ext. 213
ahakimzoda@ccbjax.org

Sarah Maley, ext. 241
smaley@ccbjax.org

Michele Sanon, ext. 252
msanon@ccbjax.org

Administrative Assistant
Sara Coggin, ext. 214
scoggin@ccbjax.org