Testimony from Catholic Charities’ Director of Refugee Services to the Senate Committee on Human Services, Mental Health and Recovery

Posted by | Catholic Charities of Oregon

Matthew Westerbeck, the Director of Refugee Services at Catholic Charities of Oregon, provided testimony during a public hearing in front of the Senate Committee on Human Services, Mental Health and Recovery on March 30, 2021. The topic was Senate Bill (SB) 718, which appropriates moneys from General Fund to Department of Human Services to award grants to refugee resettlement agencies that provide specified services to refugees.

Catholic Charities of Oregon supports SB 718 and encourages the state of Oregon to reinvest in equitable funding for social services and employment services for Oregon’s recently arrived refugees and asylees.

In 2019, the Oregon Legislature nearly unanimously passed HB2508. In so doing Oregon set the benchmark across the country by creating an Extended Case Management (ECM) program and making Oregon a national leader in welcoming refugees and asylees. In Matthew’s testimony he highlights how this decision to fund this case management model has positively impacted hundreds of refugee families.

Read the full testimony

At Catholic Charities of Oregon, we support Oregon remaining a welcoming state for refugees, a group of people who bring immense contributions to the economy, diversity, and social fabric of our state. Please consider supporting SB 718 by contacting your state senator and expressing your support for the bill.

To learn more about our Refugee Services program click here.


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