The new year could bring more changes for agencies that help refugees to relocate to the United States.
Moline-based World Relief should find out in mid-January how many clients it will be able to help in 2018. The feds are already way behind on reduced yearly projections.
"We want to help refugees," said Director Amy Rowell, on January 2. "We want to help immigrants, and we want to help our community be a welcoming community."
World Relief continues its mission during challenging times, reaching out to neighbors from its local office.
"That doesn't mean the person that lives in the house next to you," said Rowell. "It's the world. That's your neighbor."
But that global view is coming under fire. Federal restrictions may force the closure of agencies that help fewer than 100 refugees each year.
Moline's World Relief served just over 100 refugees in 2017. That's a client base sliced in half from recent years.
"We want to be here," Rowell continued. "We want to help, and we want to lead."
Leadership that was put to the test in 2017. The Christian-based organization cut a third of its local staff while five offices closed nationally.
That also threatens other front line service providers that work with World Relief.
"We want to support churches, local governments, schools and hospitals," she continued.
Rowell believes that 2017 cuts will put World Relief in a better position to weather any fallout this year.
"We made so many adjustments a year ago," she concluded. "Some of the other agencies, not World Relief, are having to make a lot of those decisions now."
The organization most needs cash donations. For more information: http://worldreliefmoline.org