Syracuse, N.Y. - Catholic Charities of Onondaga County and InterFaith Works in Syracuse are short about $650,000 this year. Leaders of both groups, and refugee resettlement groups across the state, are hoping the state legislators make up some of that difference in the upcoming budget.
They have asked the state legislature to add a line item into the state budget to give them some relief. But the fate of that request is unclear, said both Beth Broadway, CEO of InterFaith Works, and Mike Melara, Executive Director of Catholic Charities, at an editorial board meeting with Syracuse.com.
The original request was for $15 million to be spread out across the state. In the most recent versions of the budget, there is no money for refugee resettlement in the Senate's bill, and $4 million in the Assembly bill.
Broadway and Melara said they were told that refugee resettlement is a federal program and should be funded by the federal government. Right now, the federal funding for the staff that usually work with refugees is gone because the travel ban has stopped refugees from coming into the country, for the most part.
Each refugee that comes to Syracuse brings $1,850 in federal funding: $925 for the refugee's housing and other needs and $925 for to fund the help provided by the resettlement agency. The Syracuse agencies settled 1,400 refugees last year.
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Source: Syracuse.com (via The Empire Report)