World Relief building a “new community” in Durham, NC, was there anything wrong with the old one?
Posted by Ann Corcoran on March 26, 2017
Changing America by changing the people!
This story at WRAL.com is meant to be one of those warm and fuzzy stories about ‘welcoming’ refugees (and diversity) to a southern city and how mean old Donald Trump has slowed their progress in changing Durham.
The last line of the story by reporter Tess Allen is the most instructive:
A new community is being built in Durham, one that is constantly evolving, one with a mix of faces, languages and cultures. And World Relief Durham and its volunteers plan to be there every step of the way.
Here are a few bits worth highlighting:
World Relief depends on federal funding for the majority of their financing. They receive a per capita grant dependent on the number of refugees coming into their area. That money helps support the agencies’ offices, staff and, mostly, the refugees themselves.
With the dramatic decrease in refugee arrivals that would accompany the reinstatement of this order, World Relief’s funding will drop equally dramatically. The Durham office, for example, will lose one-fourth of its federal funding, or about $250,000 a year. Nationwide, five World Relief offices will close and 140 staff members will be laid off.
Soerens [Matthew Soerens, World Relief’s U.S. director of church mobilization] also said that the loss of funding is why it’s increasingly important for their Good Neighbor teams to help refugees find jobs. World Relief can no longer afford to cover rent for families for more than a couple of months.
Wasn’t finding refugees a job a top priority all along? Or, it didn’t matter so much when they were flush with federal dollars.
Is Soerens saying that, because they (at World Relief) need to pay their staffs and keep offices open, they are going to be stingy about refugee rent going forward? Sounds like it to me.
If you feel like reading all the good news about good neighbors, continue reading here.
For more on World Relief’s finances, go here.
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