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• Resettlement and placement
• Food, cash and medical assistance
• Employment services
• Social services.
Refugees are people who fled their country of origin and cannot return because of a well-founded fear of persecution. Millions of refugees are in camps today under the protection of the United Nations. When there are no other options, the U.S. and several other Western nations provide refugees an opportunity for permanent resettlement. Most refugees who have resettled over the last decade have been from Africa, East Asia, and Near East and South Asia.
Services in the first three months
Local partners of national voluntary resettlement agencies are known as “VOLAGS,” a shortened version of “voluntary agencies.” VOLAGS specialize in providing initial resettlement services to refugees during their first three months in the U. S. This includes working with relatives to be sure that refugees have food, shelter, medical screening and access to social services.
Cash and Medical Assistance
Most refugees who resettle in Minnesota are members of families with minor children who qualify for the same cash (Minnesota Family Investment Program) and health care programs available to state residents who have low incomes. Contact your local county human service agencies (PDF) to apply.
Refugees who do not qualify for one or both of those programs can apply for Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA) and Refugee Medical Assistance (RMA). These programs are available for the first eight months after a refugee arrives in the country. To apply, contact:
Employment and social services
Culturally appropriate and bilingual employment services are available community organizations. Services include:
Other services also may be available to refugees who have difficulty adjusting to life in the U.S. These services include:
Social services are available to refugees during their first five years in the U.S. except for some programs depending on how they are funded. Priority for services is given to refugees in their first year in the U.S.
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