President Donald Trump’s recently signed executive order banning immigration from six Muslim-majority countries poses a threat to state refugee resettlement agencies’ ability to pay for basic operations, said Josh Hinson, director of the UNC Refugee Mental Health and Wellness Initiative.
The North Carolina refugee office contracted with the School of Social Work to help fund the initiative — which has students pursuing a master’s degree in social work help newly settled refugees in the Triangle — in 2013. With the agencies potentially losing so much money, Hinson said there are concerns that these state funds will be cut off.
The School of Social Work has started an online fundraiser as part of National Social Work Month. The “Now More Than Ever” campaign on givecampus.com has a goal to raise $20,000 by the end of March. As of Tuesday afternoon, over $2,500 had been donated.
Hinson said when the program began in 2013, mental health treatment was not available to refugees in the state.