The Department of State (DOS) and the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) each require quarterly local community consultation. Therefore the resettlement agencies and the state refugee coordinator’s office share the responsibility to coordinate quarterly meetings, which are held in all four cities where refugees are initially resettled. Partners invited to these meetings include but are not limited to: public schools, public health departments, medical providers, mental health providers, police departments, social service providers, faith-based organizations, local governance and elected officials.
The quarterly meeting in the spring (April to June) focuses on arrival numbers for the next fiscal year, and the capacity of the local community. The following are taken into consideration: available jobs for refugees, starting wage, average monthly rent, housing availability, public transportation, health care access, language capacity and support of the local community. The results of the consultation meeting are shared with each national voluntary agency, which forwards their annual arrival proposal to the Department of State. The final decision as to where refugees are placed, arrival numbers and nationalities is made by the Department of State, in partnership with the national and local resettlement agencies. The State Refugee Coordinator (SRC) is an important partner in the consultation process but the SRC’s primary role is to coordinate with providers once refugees arrive to ensure that refugees have access to case management, employment services, health related services, and English language training within the community.