Refugee Resettlement Program

In the Gospel of Matthew, we hear Jesus teach about the way we are to live. Jesus says: “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy” (Matthew 5:7).

At Catholic Charities, we are merciful to the refugees we serve. Jesus Christ himself fled for his life from the terror of King Herod. The refugees today flee to escape persecution, war and execution. When we welcome a stranger, we are welcoming the Son of God into our lives (Matthew 25:35).

This is why Catholic Charities of Central Florida has a ministry of Refugee Resettlement. Since 1975, we have helped newly arrived refugees from across the world – those who leave their countries because of persecution – begin a new life in Central Florida.

A refugee is defined as a person who must leave his or her own country due to a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership in a social group or political opinion.

Before their arrival in the United States, refugees from war torn countries spend several years dislocated or in a refugee camp. During that time, refugees undergo Department of Homeland Security background checks as well as medical examinations, which take years to complete. They are also screened by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and then interviewed for refugee eligibility by the U S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Approved families are provided security clearances and are assigned to local affiliates such as Catholic Charities of Central Florida for resettlement.

Click here to read more details about the screening process for refugees.

Services include:

  • Employment Services and Job Training
  • Housing Assistance
  • Case Management
  • Cultural Orientation
  • Transportation Assistance
  • Referrals to English classes and health care providers


Share your heart of service with newly arrived refugee families by helping us welcome them to our local community and introduce them to our American culture.

  • Refugee Resettlement mentor in Orlando: Volunteers “adopt-a-family” to help introduce newly arrived refugees to our American culture and help them learn and practice their English speaking and writing skills. Activities include celebrating a refugee family’s “first” major American holiday such as Thanksgiving or Fourth of July.
  • Clerical/administrative volunteers in Orlando: Volunteers assist our Refugee Resettlement with data entry, copying, filing, organization and project support.
  • Furniture pick-ups and Apartment set-ups in Orlando: Volunteers help staff pick up furniture (and other gently used household items that have been donated to Catholic Charities) and set up apartments for our refugees before they arrive. Must be 18 or older and able to lift furniture.


Your gently used household items help us furnish apartments before our refugees arrive. These donations help newly arrived refugee families to start over in our community, giving them a fresh start, as they strive towards self-sufficiency. We are thankful to accept the following gently used items:

Living/Dining Room

  • Couches
  • Sofas, love seats (without pull out bed)
  • Lamps
  • Chairs
  • Coffee Tables
  • TV
  • Light Bulbs
  • Vacuum
  • Kitchen/dining room table and chairs

  • Glassware/mugs (no stemware please)
  • Utensils (forks, knives, spoons, kitchen knives)
  • Dishes (bowls and plates for cooking, baking and serving)
  • Baking/Cooking utensils (wooden spoon, slotted spoon, spatula)
  • Can Opener
  • Large Trash Can
  • Rice Cooker
  • Cutting Board
  • Pot Holders
  • Dish Towels

  • Bed mattresses, and their frames (clean and stain free)
  • Comforters, blankets, bed linens (clean and stain free)
  • Dressers
  • Cribs
  • Lamps

  • Towels
  • Washcloths
  • Bathmats
  • Shower Curtains
  • Shower Rings
  • Toilet Bowl Brush
  • Toilet Paper
  • Small Wastebasket
Cleaning Supplies

  • Sponges
  • Paper Towels
  • Broom & Dust Pan
  • Mop & Mop Bucket
  • Bathroom Cleaner
  • All-Purpose Cleaner
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Dish Soap

  • Bars of Soap
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Razors
  • Deoderant
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Body Wash

**In addition to household items, we accept cars and bicycles to help our clients get to and from their work and local grocery.


Helpful Tips for Donating

  • Pick-ups are on most Fridays of the month.
  • Only items that are in clean, usable condition will be picked up.
  • Beds must be broken down, prior to arrival ready to load onto the truck.
  • We cannot accommodate 3rd floor furniture pick-ups.

We are unable to accept:

  • Clothing
  • Knick Knacks
  • Worn out items
  • Heavy furniture, such as entertainment centers and bookcases
  • Desks
  • Large household appliances
  • Other items as determined

For More Info:

Refugee Resettlement Program
Contact or 407-658-1818 ext. 1061

Click here to download our Fact Sheet.