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Bangor expects to welcome at least 20 refugees this fall

Last December, the federal government gave Catholic Charities Maine the green light to resettle up to 50 refugees in Bangor.

BANGOR, Maine — Bangor is expected to welcome refugees from the Middle East, Africa, and Central America this fall after Catholic Charities Maine, one of the organizations tasked with resettling refugees in the state, was given the green light to bring them to the Queen City. 

At least 20 refugees are expected to arrive in Bangor in early to mid-October, according to Julie Allaire, the chief program manager for Catholic Charities Maine. 

The organization received federal approval last December to resettle up to 50 refugees in Bangor. The approval is a sign of refugee resettlements expanding beyond southern Maine. In the past, most refugees brought to Maine have been taken to the Portland and Lewiston areas.

Catholic Charities Maine has been busy getting ready for the refugees' arrival.

"Before [the refugees] come, we’ll line up either temporary or long-term housing," Allaire explained. "Once they're here, we'll start to work with them on what is called family self sufficiently plans, to help them map out their goals for employment and supporting their family."

Allaire added that her organization would also help the refugees by stocking their homes with food and clothes. 

"Sometimes people are coming here in a season that’s cooler than what they’re accustomed to," she said. "We’ll also help them will all sorts of registrations, help obtain a social security card, establish their address, and sign up for any public benefits that they’re eligible for.”

Federal data shows more than 4,000 refugees resettled in Maine between 2002 and 2019. At least nine of these refugees have moved to the Bangor area. 

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