Catholic charity opens new legal center to help refugees and immigrants in Houston

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) – Supporting asylum seekers in Houston has become much more convenient after Catholic Charities opened a new center that features a variety of programs.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, meetings at the St. Frances Cabrini is not over yet. But now, they are more convenient.

Catholic charity that provides legal aid to immigrants and refugees. In the past, there were many locations. However, the Christian organization just gave an early gift to its customers and workers as everyone is currently working at the Galleria location at 5599 San Felipe.

That’s a huge plus, said Juan Carlos de las Cuevas, senior lawyer for Catholic Charities. “It’s been a huge boost to our morale.”

Cuevas is a senior attorney at Cabrini House, a place that means more to him than just a job.

“Why not give back, or give back what they have done for me and helped others,” said Cuevas, who came to the US from Cuba. “We’ve got some relatives here and they told us to forget the hype about Miami. Just go to Houston.”

The Catholic charity helped the Cuevas family find a place to live, find furniture and documents. Most importantly, the company helped Cuevas fulfill his goal of becoming a lawyer.

They introduced him to the programs, and 10 years after arriving in the US, he obtained his law degree and used it at the Cabrini Center.

But he’s not the only one paying it forward.

Matthew Abid came to the US a decade ago after working as a translator for Marines in Afghanistan. He received help from a caseworker and Catholic Charities after arriving in Houston. For Abid, it was the place that welcomed him from the start.

“They gave me a ride to the store,” Abid recalls. “They took me to the restaurant. They were very friendly faces in my neighborhood when I moved. Those are memories I will never forget.”

Abid is currently a curator for Catholic Charities. He’s been busy this year after the war in Afghanistan ends this summer, bringing hundreds of refugees to Houston.

“We have more than 700 new arrivals of Afghan refugees in the last 90 days,” Abid said.

Many of them arrived with nothing but the clothes they were wearing. Abid and the agency help refugees find housing, get documents and find work.

The Cabrini Center provides legal advice. Abid said many refugees have made a good transition in Houston, and thanks to the staff members, and the Cabrini Center, they are able to enjoy other parts of American culture, including vacations.

“They saw it in the movies, but now they see everything in real life, and they see the neighborhood lighting up,” Abid said. “They are so happy.”

The Cabrini Center helps 15,000 people a year, including 1,000 children. If you need assistance, visit the website of the Catholic charity for more information.

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Copyright © 2021 KTRK-TV. Copyright Registered. Catholic charity opens new legal center to help refugees and immigrants in Houston

Dais Johnston

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