Campaign for Resilience
I want my neighbors to know that the moment I arrived to the US, I was received with good hands, from NSC to neighbors, to case workers, the passion on their faces gave us hope that this is the great place we have always dreamed of. - NSC Client
“I came to the USA with an olive leaf in my hand, which in my culture is a symbol of peace and love. I would love to hold olive leaves in my hand everyday to show the amount of love we have for this great country.”
- NSC Client
What is the Campaign for Resilience (CFR)?
Nationalities Service Center (NSC) launched our Campaign for Resilience to honor our history and to safeguard our legacy and the futures of our clients in response to an increasingly uncertain operating environment which has already caused abrupt and sudden shifts in refugee resettlement and the way that immigrants across the continuum of status view their safety and the viability of a future for themselves and their families in the United States. The early issuance of executive orders on border security, interior enforcement, and protecting the nation has resulted in a more unwelcoming America than we have seen in the past several decades. We anticipate that these shifts mark the beginning of a profound divestment of funding in programs that help immigrants and refugees thrive in the United States.
Given the extreme precariousness of recent events in our nation’s capital, the intent of this campaign is to provide NSC with the resources, at the ready, to respond in real time to shifts in federal policy and funding as related to refugee resettlement and immigration. In the event of any sudden cuts, reductions, or extended delays in federal or state pass-through funding, the resources from the Campaign will help keep needed program areas afloat and will allow us to continue offering needed services to clients while the agency regroups and redeploys resources based on these changes. In a time when a return to empathy and decency is deeply needed in our country, the Campaign for Resilience is a constructive vehicle for concerned citizens to show their support for keeping the Philadelphia region a warm and welcoming community for those in critical need who make their way to our region from across the globe.
What challenges does the Campaign for Resilience seek to address?
Currently, 56% of NSC’s funding originates with federal government grants and contracts to provide services for refugees and immigrants. These services include resettling refugees, helping refugees secure employment, connecting them with appropriate physical and behavioral healthcare to address injuries resulting from war or ethnic violence, and assisting survivors of torture and ritual mutilation. Due to the integrated nature of our core services, the sudden and significant changes to resettlement, which continue to evolve given a seemingly unending battle in federal and district courts, will ripple throughout the entire agency with unforeseeable impact on a range of program areas against the background of the greatest humanitarian crisis since World War II. While the courts continue to battle, the United States Refugee Resettlement Program will likely accept half the number of refugees from the which was budgeted, and a moratorium on arrivals could still be on the horizon. Conversely, we have seen a 300% increase in legal consults, leading to the challenge of maintaining high-quality and low-cost services to all who need to access these services.
These are uncertain times, and while the definition of American values are reimagined on a national scale, we are emboldened in our belief that immigrants and refugees are a critical part of the fabric of life in the United States. As such, we will continue to strive to provide client-centered services that help those we serve build a solid foundation for a self-sustaining and dignified future here in Philadelphia. We know that now is the time to strengthen NSC so it is nimble and adaptable in keeping with our 95 year history.
In recent years, NSC has weathered federal shutdowns, budget impasses, and federal spending freezes, but this current operating environment is unique in our experience. This federal fiscal year, NSC was projected to resettle 565 refugees, an increase of 13% over the past two years alone. Given the 50% reduction in the refugee admissions ceiling, NSC is faced with the need to continue providing high-quality services to those immigrants and refugees who are still in need here in Philadelphia as well as stand ready to be of service to those who are permitted to enter, despite diminished federal resources. Refugees and immigrants who are already living in the United States could be at risk if their legal status is not adjusted appropriately and in a timely manner, and those refugees who have recently arrived are still in need of core services. This reality presents a unique quandary to an organization like NSC as to how to plan effectively. NSC began the business of building restricted reserves several years ago, but given the immediate cascading consequences caused by what we anticipate could be abrupt changes in resettlement, the need for pre-emptive planning and the development of adequate resources at the ready is critical now more than ever before.
How does the Campaign for Resilience work?
The main goal for the Campaign for Resilience is to carry NSC and its clients through abrupt changes in policy and the attendant impacts. Our Year 1 goal funds scaled-back Refugee & Community Integration and Health & Wellness programs through December 2017 in the event of a sudden disruption in funding. If there is a partial pause in place for refugee resettlement, this phase would enable NSC to continue offering needed services to those refugees who have already arrived here in Philadelphia. The total cost for this phase, based on contingency financial planning, is $320,000.
These funds will be temporarily restricted and used to float programs until the stability of funding is ensured and the agency can readjust to the new operating environment. Any funds unused during this time will be rolled into NSC’s restricted reserves to protect the agency in the long term.