Blog

Learn more about Catholic Charities

We're serving those
in need regardless of
faith, culture, or situation.

RECENT POSTS:

  • How preparing for disaster can keep your family safe, and serve your community
    At Catholic Charities, we understand that disaster preparation, response, and recovery isn’t just a safety issue — it’s also a poverty issue. Unfortunately, disaster doesn’t discriminate between the financially stable…
  • Parishes partner to provide mental health support
    Culturally comfortable care for Spanish-speaking families By Ashley Wiskirchen Ilsi Palacios is the Hispanic Services Coordinator at Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri. In her role, she provides case…
  • Resource Fair marks Catholic Charities Food Pantry second anniversary.
    By Jennifer Hudson To address the growing needs of mid-Missourians, community organizations and local collaborators are strengthening relationships to provide essential support and resources. The Catholic Charities Food Pantry serves…
  • The Multifaceted Impact of Affordable Housing on Families and Communities
    Access to stable and affordable housing impacts household income and enhances community well-being in multiple ways. It is not just a roof over one’s head but the catalyst for positive…
  • Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
    “We must talk about poverty, because people insulated by their own comfort lose sight of it.” Dorothy Day   “Love is shown more in deeds than in words.” St. Ignatius…
  • Youth & Education Assistant
    Columbia, MO • Catholic Charities Job Type: Part-time Description Overview Catholic Charities of Central & Northern Missouri is seeking a dedicated addition to join our agency’s case management team and play a…
  • Site Director (Columbia)
    Columbia, MO • Catholic Charities Job Type: Full-time Description Overview Catholic Charities of Central & Northern Missouri is seeking a dynamic and experienced leader to join our team. The ideal candidate is…
  • Administrative Assistant (Central Office)
    Jefferson City, MO • Catholic Charities Job Type: Full-time Description Overview Catholic Charities of Central & Northern Missouri is seeking a customer-service minded addition to join our agency’s administrative team and play…
  • Administrative Assistant (Columbia)
    Columbia, MO • Catholic Charities Job Type: Full-time Description Overview Catholic Charities of Central & Northern Missouri is seeking a customer-service minded addition to join our agency’s administrative team and play a…
  • Stay Safe: Tips on Preparing for Severe Weather
    Severe weather can happen at any time, and it can pose significant risks to everyone. From powerful storms and tornadoes to hurricanes and blizzards, being prepared for extreme weather events…
  • Mercy Moments: Rights and Responsibilities
    Created and hosted by Marissa Flores Madden “Do not take advantage of foreigners who live among you in your land. Treat them like native-born Israelites, and love them as you…
  • March Menu of Engagement
    March is Severe Weather Preparedness Month. Many families across the U.S. and in our own neighborhoods are just one disaster away from financial ruin – and many have experienced the…

Missouri’s efforts to partner with local communities and organizations to resettle a wave of refugees from Afghanistan is garnering national attention.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | Media Contact: Ashley Wiskirchen | Director of Communications | awiskirchen@cccnmo.org
From left to right: Dan Lester, Executive Director of Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri (CCCNMO), Samantha Moog, Director of Catholic Charities Refugee Services, Governor Jack Markell, White House Coordinator for Operation Allies Welcome, the task force assigned with resettling upwards of 100,000 Afghan refugees across the U.S.

JEFFERSON CITY, MO. On Thursday, December 2, 2021, the Missouri Office of Refugee Administration hosted former Delaware Governor Jack Markell, the White House coordinator for Operation Allies Welcome, a federal task force responsible for the effort to resettle 125,000 Afghan refugees across 200 communities across the nation.  

Additional members of the task force included representatives from the U.S. State Department, the National Security Council, and the operational chief of staff.  

Local resettlement agencies, including Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri (CCCNMO), were invited to visit with the task force, covering a range of topics surrounding Afghan refugee resettlement.  

“We’re here today to learn about the processes on the ground,” Gov. Markell stated as the meeting surrounding Community Sponsorships kicked off at the Kansas City Public Library in Kansas City, Missouri. 

Samantha Moog, Director of Catholic Charities Refugee Services, opened the discussion by introducing the community sponsorship program CCCNMO is relying on to help settle Afghan refugee family groups in Columbia, Fulton and Jefferson City, Missouri.  

“The twin goals of community sponsorships are to enhance our agency capacity to resettle more refugees, and to ensure that the community integration for refugees is successful long-term,” Moog shared.  

Within community sponsorships, Catholic Charities Refugee Services can delegate many resettlement tasks to the sponsor group. Community sponsors then take on the responsibility of securing affordable housing, collecting furniture and other household items, and helping refugees access additional public benefits when eligible.  

Sponsors are committed to accompanying refugees in integrating into the community, by working alongside case managers to enroll children in school, aid in job searches, and provide transportation to appointments and shopping trips.  

In mid-Missouri, churches and non-faith-based community groups alike have stepped up to answer the call to help refugees resettle into local communities.  

In early November, the Fulton Rotary Club of Fulton, Missouri, was the first fully onboarded community sponsor in Central Missouri, working within the greater Fulton community to prepare for a refugee family of 13.  

More recently, Missouri United Methodist Church in Columbia, Missouri, was matched with two refugee families. 

“We have trained, vetted, and fully onboarded the two community sponsorship groups so far in Fulton and Columbia, with plans to onboard three more Catholic parishes as community sponsors in the Central Missouri area before the end of this week,” Moog reported to the task force.  

“For context,” Executive Director Dan Lester reminded the group, “our agency’s previous record resettlement efforts took place in 2016, having resettled 229 refugees over a 12-month period. 

“This year, we have resettled 217 Afghan refugee families, including four newborn babies, in an 8-week period.”  

Task force member and National Security Council Director of Refugees, Jacqui Pilch, complimented Catholic Charities Refugee Services’ efforts to include community sponsorships as an avenue to expand the capacity of resettlement agencies. 

“I can see that the work you’re doing, in figuring this piece out, is not only going to help the cohort of Afghan refugees coming now,” she said, “but also lay the foundation that allows us to grow the resettlement system to the scale we need it to be.”  

“You are on the forefront of making that happen,” Pilch said.

Governor Markell agreed.  

“It’s really exciting to hear about the work that you’re doing,” he said. “This is the work we talk a lot about, and to meet the people in this room who are essentially doing the work is really quite remarkable.” 

### 

Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri (CCCNMO), an entity of the Diocese of Jefferson City, responds to the needs of people in 38 counties regardless of faith, culture, or situation. This includes services for refugees and immigrants, those with food insecurity, mental health needs, health and nutrition education, basic household, and shelter needs. For more information, visit cccnmo.diojeffcity.org.