ALLOUEZ, Wis. (WFRV) — When you’re a refugee, finding an apartment comes with its challenges.
“They don’t have the typical rental history,” Kory Krauss, Financial Health Services Manager for Catholic Charities of The Diocese of Green Bay explained, “they don’t have a credit report, they don’t have local work history.”
The folks with Catholic Charities are working through those challenges.
“We’re helping them with everything they need,” Krauss said. “We’re even available to help them figure out where they’re going to come up with the money for rent and all of that.”
So far, 13 refugees have been brought into the Green Bay area.
Catholic Charities have set them up with temporary housing until a more permanent solution can be found.
“It’s important to get them into a place where it’s like, ‘Okay at least for six months or one year, this is my home. This is where I’m going to be. I can start getting to know my community, I can start getting to know how to get places,'” Krauss said. “So getting them resettled so they can feel confident in where they are I think will be really helpful.”
Helpful when it comes to navigating this next chapter.
“They’re ready to figure out, ‘Okay, where am I going to work? Where am I going to live? How do I succeed here? How do I turn the page on my life and start over,'” Krauss said.
To start over, Krauss says they need a place to start.
“[We’re] especially looking for one-bedroom, two-bedroom three-bedroom, and four-bedroom,” he said, adding that Catholic Charities officials walk refugees through the apartments they find, allowing them to choose where they live.
In a year, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Green Bay hopes to have 125 refugees settled in the area.
“We are going to be getting some bigger families very, very soon,” Krauss said. “We don’t know the time frame exactly, but we are expecting a family of six and a family of 12 to be coming pretty soon.”
Once they get here, Krauss says finding housing will be just the beginning.
“Helping them get connected with places where they can learn English if they have limited or no English, it is going to be connecting kids with schools when those families arrive, it’s going to be helping them know how to use all of the appliances in their apartment, knowing how renting workings in Green Bay…what locally do they need to know to be good tenants,” Krauss said.
Catholic Charities is also collecting food and clothing for the incoming refugees.