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

Posted by Ann Corcoran on July 2, 2018

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!

13 Responses to “Another story about refugees living in deplorable housing, this time in San Antonio, Texas”

  1. priscillaking said

    Agreed…and even though I’ve given time and money to some charities where I saw good Catholic people doing good things, WHY ARE MY TAXES GOING TO CATHOLIC CHARITIES? I’m not Catholic! Donations are one thing, taxes are another thing!

    There’s a doomed quality about all public/private partnerships anyway…being managed by two (or more) different sets of people under two (or more) different sets of rules creates a kind of chaos that attracts abuses the way picnics attract ants.

    So far at least what you’ve described seems more like corruption, incompetence, and overburdened-ness (air conditioners take a lot of wear in Texas!) than like deliberate abuse. That micro-kitchen would have my (tenth generation Anglo-American) mother scurrying out to grill food in the yard, but a stain from a past leak on the ceiling has her saying, “So, somebody upstairs let the sink run over. Maybe some year I’ll get around to painting over it.”

    Anyway, people around the world should know: It’s not that Americans hate you–it’s that this country is filling up. People building luxury apartments have invested a lot of money in them and need to recover that before they start offering any deals to poor people as a way of thanking Providence. People offering apartments to refugees have probably tacked up cheap barns, as a tax write-off, that they don’t intend to maintain very long. And for every good job, whatever training, experience, or education you have, there are probably a few hundred people who were born here, waiting in not very orderly lines.

    I care–therefore I say: If you have a chance of surviving in your own country, stay there and make things better. The United States have our own problems.

    Like

  2. I am posting a link to an article about refugees being placed into unsafe neighborhoods:
    https://www.thetrace.org/2018/06/resettled-refugees-gun-violence-high-crime-neighborhoods/amp/

    Like

  3. kazamareen said

    Fleeing sheer terror & fearful for my family’s life’ Now a leak bothers him? The left will coddle him. SMH

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “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.”

    And this is the reason why it isn’t benefitting the US at all to allow low-functioning/low IQ immigrants in. Why can’t an adult man fix a doorknob, a leaky ceiling, and replace an air-conditioner himself (or, an adult woman, for that matter). If we are letting in people who aren’t capable of basic functioning because they are handicapped, especially both physically and intelligence-wise, how are they in any way of benefit to the US? There are ways to deal with building managers if you can fix stuff yourself, rather than being a victimized tenant.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. tmasierrahills said

    Texas (#1 refugee state): Another story on refugees living in deplorable housing. Refugee: subsidized house “a prison.” Yes, never mentioned: (1) Maybe too many refugees? (2) Doesn’t housing shortage also impact poor Americans, like vets living under bridges with their dog?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. futuret said

    THE REFUGEES AND WHATEVER ELSE YOU MAY WANT TO CALL THEM, GET BETTER TREATMENT THAN OUR HOMELESS POPULATION, IN WHICH NO ONE GIVES A DAMN ABOUT. IF YOU ARE A REFUGEE, YOU CAN LITERALLY GET A BLANK CHECK, AND WRITE YOUR OWN. IF POSSIBLE, AND IT COULD LEAD INTO THIS KIND OF EVENT, WHERE THE REFUGEES COME LITERALLY TO EACH OF OUR DOOR STEPS, BREAK THE DOORS DOWN, AND LITERALLY THROW US OUT OF OUR HOMES, APARTMENTS, ETC… I DO MEAN THIS LITERALLY LIKE IT SOUNDS AND HAVE WORDED, I AM MEANING NO DIFFERENT, OR USING FIGURES OF SPEECH!!!

    Like

  7. MikeyParks said

    If the housing is that deplorable, I wouldn’t blame them a bit if they returned to their home countries.

    Like

  8. Yes, government funding for refugees should be very limited at the most and private charities for these people that claim to want to help them should be the major part of funding. Let’s see how these people TRULY feel about refugees. Furthermore they should have to house these people, be responsible for paying for their health care, food, help them find jobs and be responsible for their legal status i.e. criminal acts, etc. and have to pay the price legally for them along with the refugees who come and commit crime.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. tomasrose said

    from the news article: “Along with providing furniture,”. Actually Catholic Charities does not provide them furniture. The U.S. taxpayer provides them furniture. Catholic Charities makes money on every piece of furniture it ‘provides’.

    Liked by 1 person

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