refugee program services & facts

who is a refugee?

A refugee is not an immigrant. Refugees are fleeing persecution and are legal permanent residents of the U.S.

background of the united states refugee resettlement program

The U.S. government began a formal refugee resettlement program with the Refugee Act of 1980.  It is managed by the:

  • U. S. Department of State
  • U. S. Department of Homeland Security
  • U. S. Office for Refugee Resettlement
  • Massachusetts Office for Refugees and Immigrants

1) Background US Resettlement Program by Refugee Council USA

2) Refugee Admissions and Resettlement in the U.S., Background Information, by MA Office for Refugees and Immigrants

services provided for refugees 

JFS provides an array of programs and services that begin prior to a refugee’s arrival and depending on the program may last for 5 years when a refugee becomes eligible for US citizenship.  The JFS New American team is comprised of 26 bilingual/bicultural staff speaking 15 different languages.

1) Refugee services timeline

2) Description of refugee services

3) Overview of JFS New American program

jewish family service refugee arrivals from 2009-2013

JFS resettled 1,047 refugees from all corners of the world to Hampden County over the past 5 years.  For more information about refugee populations and their specific circumstances, please click here.

useful links and resources

List of resources to vist and learn more about refugee-serving organizations and their work.

ways you can help refugees

There are numerous opportunities for you and/or your organization to personally support a refugee to start their new lives in our community.  

  • volunteering
  • donations
  • mentoring
  • group sponsor
  • English language tutor

contribute to support a refugee family, please click here.