More than ten years ago, the Texas Department of Health and Human Services approached La Posada about helping with the Refugee Cash Assistance Program in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. We accepted and were paired with the Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Services (DMRS) in El Paso, Texas to start the program for refugee/immigrants at
Hundreds of individuals benefited from the program. These participants obtained their work permits, Social Security cards and most importantly, employment. Because of this program, 40% to 50% of the participants were able to enter the work force more quickly than they otherwise would have. The refugees/immigrants entering the program were an investment made by the State and the Texas workforce benefited. DMRS was always gracious and professional, putting in long hours to meet the needs of our program participants. Coordinating work with DMRS from 800 miles away was challenging, but miraculously we jointly managed. All clients amazingly were referred by word of mouth. Proof of success travels quickly and over time, the program grew. Unfortunately, the State determined that the program be discontinued.
We wish to send our heartfelt well wishes and gratitude for what the DMRS accomplished. There are not enough “Thank Yous” for this great organization that helped us. We miss working with you. The spirit of El Paso and its Diocese are a reflection of how we all should treat and welcome the stranger. We would like to express our gratitude to Melissa Lopez, Executive Director of the Diocesan and Migrant and Refugee Services as well as Pearl Chavez, Mitsumi Herrera, Erik Vargas, Anita Hudak and Anabel Veloz and their respective department. Thank you for your professional collaboration. May God bless you and we wish you all the best.
La Posada Program Director Sister Zita Telkamp CDP, La Posada Client Coordinator Monica Peña Rasmussen and the Iglesia Cristiana Ebenezer in Los Fresnos, especially Pastor Feliberto Pereira.