For refugees to go from knowing no one and having no resources to becoming vital members of the community, a variety of stakeholders must be involved. Tennessee Office for Refugees recognizes the importance of community involvement in refugee resettlement. We aim to support refugee resettlement by partnering with the community to provide information and resources while facilitating growth of valuable networks.
The TOR board committee is comprised of key stakeholders and representatives from communities across the state, as well as several members of the Catholic Charities of Tennessee, Inc. Board of Trustees.
Allen Arender – Partner, Senior VP of Development, Holladay Properties; Secretary, Catholic Charities of Tennessee Board of Directors; Member, NAIOP Board of Directors
Steve Bachus – Retired, Investment Administration, Vanderbilt University; Head of Finance Committee, Aquinas College Board of Directors; Member, Finance Committee, St. Matthew Catholic Church; Member, Finance Committee and Chair of the TOR Committee of the Catholic Charities of Tennessee Board of Directors
Clark Baker – Consultant for YMCA of Middle Tennessee; Member, Catholic Charities of Tennessee Board of Directors
Anne Blaufuss – Assistant Vice President, Budget and Planning, Ardent Health Services; Member, Catholic Charities of Tennessee Board of Directors
Bill Farmer – Founding Partner, Farmer Purcell, White & Lassiter PLLC; Member, Rochelle Center Advisory Board; Chairman, Metropolitan Nashville Civil Service Commission
Fr. Mark Hunt – Pastor, Holy Rosary Church; Member, Catholic Charities of Tennessee Board of Directors
Eric Lawson – Division Chief Financial Officer, TriStar Health; Member, Catholic Charities of Tennessee Board of Directors
Once each quarter TOR leads a community consultation in a different resettlement community, allowing us to visit each region once a year and directly receive feedback and answer questions from community members such as local council members, educators, and law enforcement. In these meetings we discuss refugee arrivals, community capacity, promising practices, and more. These meetings are also open to the public.
TOR facilitates regular conference calls, webinars, lunch and learns, and an annual statewide training event as a part of the Tennessee Refugee Advisory Collaborative (TRAC). These events are intended to discuss and share ideas relating to statewide policy and procedures, best practices, partnerships, and issues facing Tennessee’s refugee populations. The collaborative includes all funded partner agencies. Many TRAC events are open to practitioners, service providers, and community members interested in learning or sharing about the selected topics.
We partner with four resettlement agencies – one in Memphis, two in Nashville, and one with offices in Knoxville and Chattanooga – to enable us to provide cash and medical assistance to all refugees in Tennessee. Potential clients may contact their local affiliate for assistance in enrolling in one of the programs we offer.
Bridge Refugee Services
4791/A Hal Drive
Chattanooga, TN 37416
Bridge Refugee Services
3839 Buffat Mill Road
Knoxville, TN 37914
3340 Poplar Avenue, Suite 222
Memphis, TN 38111
In addition to the resettlement agencies, other nonprofit organizations are granted funds through TOR to serve refugees in other ways:
Nations Ministry Center provides job training and employment assistance in Davidson and Rutherford Counties.
Siloam Health provides medical screenings, vaccinations, and referral services to all newly arrived refugees in Davidson County. Additionally, Siloam Health coordinates the medical screening program statewide with partnering clinics in Chattanooga, Knoxville, and Memphis.
Tennessee Foreign Language Institute’s ESL to Go program provides English Language classes to many area refugees.