Our five 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 tailored to meet the needs of the host communities as they welcome these new neighbors. RST employs the use of a refugee management system to proactively meet the needs of our clients.
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 to 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.
Finding employment is a vital step towards self-sufficiency but 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 needed with job searches, resume development, education and certifications, and interview skills. You can also visit our Employment page to learn about hiring refugees.
All RST clients have access to English as a Second Language classes (ESL). Some sites offer classes directly as part of their services, while others partner with outside organizations to provide these ESL classes to clients. Education in basic English increases clients' ability to navigate every day 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.
The RST Austin and Dallas service centers offer low-cost immigration services through Board of Immigration Appeals-accredited representatives. These representatives assist clients with legal issues including status adjustment, naturalization, and family reunification for refugee families and Iranian religious minorities. Services are not limited to refugees, but are available to all immigrant communities.
RST Austin is the leading agency in Central Texas providing services to survivors of human trafficking. Working closely with law enforcement agencies and the Central Texas Coalition against Human Trafficking, RST provides 24-hour support to identified survivors. This support includes short- and long-term services to ensure the survivors’ safety and long-term success.
RST Austin and Fort Worth provide group orientation and psycho-education sessions, as well as referrals to other appropriate providers in their respective areas. RST Austin offers culturally and linguistically-appropriate individual, couples and family therapy at no cost to clients who may need additional support. Our services are all trauma informed and customized to the individual needs of clients.
MEDICAL CASE MANAGEMENT
Our offices in Fort Worth, Dallas, and Austin are home to medical case managers who work to establish better health, hygiene, and illness and injury care. RST partners with community organizations to establish access to specialists, equipment, and basic transportation to and from appointments. Our staff also hold orientation classes to help clients better understand American healthcare.
SOCIAL ADJUSTMENT SERVICES
Clients are supported during the initial post-arrival period with limited-term assistance programs. Social Adjustment Services provide long-term case management services for clients with emergency needs and difficulties adapting to their new surroundings. This program seeks to accessservices within the community and advocate on behalf of clients in order to dissolve barriers to self-sufficiency.
UNACCOMPANIED CHILDREN (UAC)
Record numbers of children migrating alone have arrived at the Texas border in recent years. By law, the United States Health and Human Services department must provide for the custody and care of unaccompanied migrant children. Working with Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS), RST Houston implemented a program to provide case management, support services, advocacy, and donations to unaccompanied children and their families.
RST's Refugee Youth Program (RYP) - operating in both the Dallas and Amarillo offices - is focused on meeting the unique needs of children and youth as they adapt to life in a new country. One of the only programs of its kind in America, RYP offers young refugees deeper insight into American culture and the opportunity to explore and engage with their new community through field trips, excursions, mentorship,and more.
Central American Minors (CAM)
The Central American Minor program helps parents from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras with legal status in the U.S. reunite with their children in a safe and legal manner. RST provides bilingual services to qualifying parents who are interested in applying. Our staff assists with the initial application and guides parents through the entire process. If you are interested in these services, contact your local office.
With primary funding from a MacArthur Foundation Discovery Grant, the RefugeeMobile pilot program is a unique corporate-nonprofit-university partnership including Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS), Refugee Services of Texas (RST), Sparrow: Mobile for All, and the Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO) at University of Notre Dame. Based on the idea that technology is an integral part of modern life, RefugeeMobile aims to equip newly arriving refugees with smartphones, Internet connectivity, eight months of free mobile services, and tailored apps to facilitate the process of integration. Leveraging the case management services they already receive, RefugeeMobile will empower refugees to access mobile tools to assist with translation, navigation/transportation, and job seeking, while freeing case managers to focus on deeper challenges of integration.