The Refugee Assistance Program (RAP)
is a federally funded program which helps persons admitted to the U.S.
as refugees to become self-sufficient as quickly as possible upon their
arrival. Temporary RAP cash assistance and medical aid are available
to needy refugees who are not eligible for other cash or medical assistance
programs. In addition, employment services, health screenings and
foster care services to unaccompanied minors are also available to refugees.
To help refugees become self-supporting as
quickly as possible, federal funding is provided to state governments,
city and county agencies, private and non-profit agencies that are responsible
for providing services such as vocational English-as-a-Second Language
classes, employment training and job search workshops. Refugees
receiving cash and medical assistance are required to enroll in employment
services and to accept offers of employment.
Agencies assist refugees with goods and services within the first three
months in the United States with the goal of helping them become self-sufficient
without public assistance.
Since 1983, the local
office of Refugee Assistance Program has helped thousands of Southeast
Asian refugees resettle in San Joaquin County. The majority came
from Southeast Asian with lesser numbers from the former Soviet Union,
Cuba, and from Yugoslavia.
The Refugee Assistance
Program is currently involved in the resettlement of new arriving Hmong
refugees in San Joaquin County. It is estimated that between 420
and 640 refugees will be resettled in Stockton and surrounding cities
in FY 2004-05. Through a network of Voluntary Resettlement Agencies,
Mutual Assistance Associations, non-profit agencies, public health and
social service agencies, educational institutions, and others, collaborative
efforts are underway to facilitate the refugees transition to American
culture and to our community.
For more information,
Olivia Briesmeister, HSA Program Coordinator
Refugee Assistance Program
56 S. Lincoln St. (In the WorkNet Building)
Stockton, CA 95203