Our seven service centers offer programs uniquely designed to assist refugees, asylees, survivors of human trafficking, and other vulnerable populations, helping them to become self-sufficient as quickly as possible. Our programs are also created with the needs of the host communities in mind as they welcome these new neighbors. RST employs the use of a refugee management system to meet the needs of our clients proactively.
After applying for refugee status, individuals and families are screened, granted permission to resettle, and assigned to our agency by the U.S. Department of State. RST offers programs to assist refugees with basic needs and services during their initial resettlement period in the United States. Refugee clients are provided with case management and assistance while they work to meet the many challenges of transitioning to the local community.
United States Reception and Placement (USRP)
USRP resettles refugees and Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) holders from countries all around the world. Refugees and SIVs are assigned to RST through a weekly allocation process led by CWS, EMM, and LIRS. Starting from the day of arrival in the U.S., USRP provides all necessary integration services throughout their first 90 days in the United States. Core services are airport pick-up, housing and apartment set-up, cultural orientation, food and clothing assistance, school enrollment, referrals for English classes and health screening, medical care coordination, assistance with change of address and selective service registration, applications for public benefits and social security cards, and distribution of federal resettlement funds. USRP assists with Family Reunification applications, as well, which includes the Central American Minors program. Some SIVs who travel to the US on their own may also be eligible.
Unaccompanied Children (UAC)
RST is committed to supporting unaccompanied children as they transition into their new communities. By law, the United States Health and Human Services department must provide custody and care of unaccompanied migrant children until vetted parents and guardians are identified. In partnership with Church World Service (CWS), RST Austin and RST Dallas provide case management, support services, advocacy, and donations to children released from ORR shelters to their parents and guardians.
Immigration Legal Services
RST Austin and Dallas have offered low-cost or pro bono immigration services for the past several years. RST Immigration supports clients with status adjustment, naturalization, family reunification services, employment authorization, and other immigration relief often needed by refugees and immigrants. Services are not limited to refugees but are available to all immigrant communities. In the fall of 2022, RST is expanding its Immigration Program to provide robust services to Afghans.
A vital step toward self-sufficiency is finding employment, which presents unique challenges as our clients adjust to a new culture. Many come to the US from diverse educational and professional backgrounds. Though they often have the skills and experience required for jobs in their field of interest, additional help is necessary with job searches, resume development, education and certifications, and interview skills. You can also visit our Employment Page to learn about hiring refugees and survivors.
Social Adjustment Services (SAS)
SAS provides case management for various needs, such as applying for public benefits, coordinating medical care, finding rent assistance, paying utility bills, and referring to community resources for food, mental health care, English classes, education, or other needs. In addition, SAS provides regular workshops on these topics so clients can build self-sufficiency. The length of services varies depending on the client’s needs but typically lasts between three to six months. Clients can re-enroll at any time throughout their first five years.
EMP assists with finding and maintaining employment and can be accessed at any time during the first five years after a client’s eligibility date. Services include resume building, job readiness classes, job application assistance, scheduling job interviews, providing transportation and interpretation, and assisting with hiring paperwork. Employment may also offer vocational training opportunities such as Forklift Certificates, Food Handler's Certificates, Commercial Driver's Licenses, Certified Nursing Assistants, and interpretation training. Services typically last about six months, and clients must be work authorized.
English Language Program
All RST clients can take English as a Second Language (ESL) classes. Some sites offer classes directly as part of their services, while others partner with outside organizations to provide ESL classes to clients. English education increases clients' ability to navigate everyday life in America while enhancing their potential for success in the workplace. Students often have the opportunity to continue their education in English past the basics.
Matching Grant (MG)
MG provides cash assistance, case management, and employment services for at most eight months to build self-sufficiency. Cash assistance covers rent, a utility and phone stipend, and pocket money. MG has limited available slots and can only enroll clients within a certain period after their eligibility date. Clients must be employable and willing to work. The program matches the amount of cash provided to clients through donations and volunteer hours.
Cash and Medical Assistance (CMA)
CMA provides Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA) and Refugee Medical Assistance (RMA). RCA comes as monthly direct payments to eligible clients, and the amount depends on the size of the family and their income level. RMA is federal health insurance for single adults that meet income requirements and do not qualify for Medicaid. RCA and RMA are available for at most 12 months from the client’s eligibility date. The amount of time depends on the referral date and any changes to the household’s composition or income. Clients cannot be dual enrolled in Matching Grant (MG).
Intensive Case Management Program (ICM)
All of our offices have an Intensive Case Management Program. Our ICM Program most often provides direct services to especially vulnerable populations or outreach to engage potential community partners. Our services cover a variety of needs, and the case management team creates an individualized plan for each of our clients to attain self-sufficiency. These services are intended to help our clients establish better health, hygiene, and illness and injury care; address basic needs; and create access to specialists, equipment, and transportation to and from appointments through partnerships with community organizations.
Survivors of Trafficking Empowerment Program (STEP)
STEP helps all survivors of trafficking throughout their transition to stable and independent lives. Starting with victim recovery and identification, STEP provides crisis and advocacy services to survivors of all forms of trafficking, sex and labor, and other violent crimes, such as domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault, stalking, and kidnapping. Case management services include emergency response; assistance with basic needs such as food, clothes, shelter, and medical; education and advocacy for victim rights; support for law enforcement operations and TDLR inspections; safety planning; referrals to CSEY care coordination; legal and immigration attorney; treatment programs; and other community resources. Clients can be of any nationality, immigration status, or age. STEP has a 24/7 on-call system in Austin and RGV with law enforcement, juvenile probation officers, and the National Human Trafficking Hotline.
Community Engagement primarily trains and coordinates volunteers. They provide volunteer-led programming to clients, such as the Women’s Sewing Collective and in-home ESL classes. The volunteer programs available are subject to change. They also coordinate volunteers to assist case managers with client services such as transporting clients to appointments, dropping off donations, bus orientations, and other needs. Clients get paired with volunteer groups for additional support, such as Welcome Teams and Baby Buddies.