Carolina Refugee Resettlement Agency
Hearts You Hold is proud to welcome Carolina Refugee Resettlement Agency. This agency was founded in 2010 and is based in Charlotte, NC. CRRA believes all refugees and asylees deserve the chance to begin successful new lives in the United States. CRRA’s mission is to receive, to connect and to empower newly arrived refugees in the Charlotte area so that they begin successful and self-sufficient lives in the United States.
CRRA has 8 people on their staff and serve over 500 clients annually. When intern, Alex Gibson, was asked about the challenges of the work, he wrote, “Ensuring that refugees reach a level of self-sustainability by the end of a 90 day reception and placement program, despite language barriers, cultural differences, and other logistical hardships. Language barriers and transportation limitations prove to be two challenges that CRRA continue to overcome.”
CRRA refugee clients come from all over the world from Central Africa, South Asia, the Middle East, and even some from Central/South America. Generally, families or individuals are being resettled with family members after being separated for an extended period of time. However, we do have some single refugees arrive here as well.
The process of fleeing their home country until resettlement can span from 2-10 years. It begins with the United Nation's UNHCR and proceeds through the US State Department at which point years of extensive interviewing and security vetting begins. The process leaves people living in camps with generally inadequate, unhygienic living conditions for years at a time. Once approved, they receive cultural orientation and fly to America where we pick them up at the airport to begin their new lives.
The impact of this organization is impressive. Alex writes that "they have seen the successful integration of hundreds of refugees in just the Charlotte area alone. With that comes a degree of self-sustainability putting our clients on the path to a successful, new life in the United States. CRRA is also proud of the wide network of volunteers that they have to help with transportation, interpreting, and educating clients; they support the day-to-day operations to be successful. Additionally, seeing the refugee clients integrate and become self-sustaining members of society is extraordinarily rewarding."