Frequently Asked Questions
what is a refugee?
A person who has been forced to leave their country due to a well-founded fear of war, persecution or slavery because of their race, religion, nationality, social group or political opinion.
how do refugees get to syracuse?
Those refugees who are in Syracuse are typically "resettled refugees," meaning that our State Department has worked with international entities to facilitate their legal migration to this nation in order for them to start a new life with the opportunity of citizenship (after five years). In order to be resettled, a refugee must fall into one of several categories that set them apart from the rest of the millions of refugees around the world. These categories include most vulnerable, particular ethnic groups, families members of those already in the US and more.
Once a refugee has been selected for the resettlement application process, they go through a long process (typically 1-3 years) that includes a series of interviews, medical testing, background checks and more. This process is overseen by the International Office of Migration (IOM), who also facilities their actual travel once resettlement opportunity has been granted. An estimated 1% of the world's refugees will be resettled.
Once families have been selected to be presented for resettlement, their cases are put before the US State Department, approved, then delegated amongst a group of volunteer agencies which have local offices (resettlement agencies) throughout the United States, primarily located in mid-sized cities. In Syracuse, our resettlement agencies are Center for New Americans (Interfaith Works) and Northside CYO (Catholic Charities). These resettlement agencies are responsible to set up the basic needs for the family upon arrival, and provide case management for the initial 90 days.
how many refugees do we have in Syracuse?
While the numbers are hard to determine, most estimates say 12,000-15,000, mainly living in Syracuse’s Northside. Syracuse has seen approximately 1,000-1,400 refugees arrive each year through our two resettlement agencies in recent years. Recent legislation has lessened that number nationally, and we have yet to see what the prolonged impact will be on our city in particular.
where do the refugees in Syracuse typically come from?
Within the last five years, the primary nations Syracuse has been resettling refugees from include:
- Bhutan (via Nepal)
- Burma (Myanmar)
- Democratic Republic of Congo
- Darfur (Sudan)
what other agencies serve the resettled refugees in Syracuse?
While most of our urban organizations and agencies have work with the resettled refugees in Syracuse, here are some besides Hopeprint that focus on their particular needs and opportunities:
- Center for New Americans/Interfaith Works of Central New York
- Northside CYO/Catholic Charities of Onondaga County
- Refugee Assistance Program ("Bob's School")
- Westside Learning Center
- Northside Learning Center
- Yeshua Restoration Ministries
- RISE (Refugees and Immigrants Self Empowered)
- Various Ethnic Based Community Organizations
- Various Ethnic Churches and Programs
- (see Refugee Alliance List under Community Collaboration for more)
what role does Hopeprint play among this community and other organizations?
Hopeprint's focus is on the empowerment of resettled refugees to thrive. While there are a number of entities working hard to assist resettled refugees in surviving (i.e. food access, government services, healthcare, etc), we are focused on the post-resettlement time period and empowering them along the next steps towards a thriving life. We welcome them into our "family" through our hospitality gatherings and homes, mentor them along the steps to their goals for a thriving life, and connect with community resources that exist to support their endeavors. Think of it as the guides and fellow journeymen along the pathway from a life of survival to a life of thriving.
Some of the excellent support services for survival needs as well as tools needed in order to thrive are provided through some of the other great organizations in our community, and we seek to connect our family members to those resources without duplicating services as much as possible! We are grateful to serve on the Refugee Alliance and Community Integration Coalition that further facilitates that connectedness, and to be part of the tapestry of resources available in this community to make our vision a reality together!