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MEMORANDUM - DOC 6 Powered By Docstoc
					                                                                                     Rick Scott
                      State of Florida                                               Governor
                      Department of Children and Families
                                                                                     David E. Wilkins

DATE:           May 29, 2012

TO:             Members of the Orlando Area Refugee Task Force

FROM:           Pedro Padua, Refugee Services (RS)

SUBJECT:        April 11, 2012 Meeting Minutes

                   Date:        June 13, 2012
                   Time:        10:00 A.M. - 12:00 Noon
                Location:       Hispanic Office of Local Assistance (HOLA)
                                 595 N. Primrose Drive
                                Orlando, FL 32803
                Contact:        Pedro Padua
                 Office:        (407) 317-7336
                   Cell:        (407) 625-8205
                   Fax:         (407) 245-2766

This task force has been active in the Orlando area for many years. The participants are
representatives of various government agencies, private not-for-profit organizations and mutual
assistance associations. An average of about thirty to thirty-five people attend these meetings on a
regular basis. The purpose of these meetings is to increase awareness of the refugee populations,
share best practices, build collaborations between agencies, spot trends in refugee populations,
characteristics or movements, help create good communication among service providers; get
informed about upcoming community events, request for proposals, training, workshops,
conferences, etc., at the local, state and national level; discuss refugee program service needs and
possible solutions to meeting those needs. Meeting participants also receive updates, information
and clarification on new federal and state regulations and policy changes pertaining to refugees.

If there are any issues that you would like to include in the agenda, please contact me at the above

                         I look forward to seeing you at the meeting!

                     400 W. Robinson Street, S1111D, Orlando, Florida 32801

  Mission: Protect the Vulnerable, Promote Strong and Economically Self-Sufficient Families, and
                      Advance Personal and Family Recovery and Resiliency
Orlando Area Refugee Task Force                                     April 11, 2012 Meeting Minutes


This meeting was held at the State Attorney Office, located at 415 N. Orange Ave., Orlando,
FL 32801. Twenty nine people were in attendance. Taddese Fessehaye, Community Liaison
Unit Manager and Pedro Padua, Community Liaison for the Central Region represented the
Department of Children and Families, Refugee Services (RS) Program. Everyone introduced
themselves and the agency they represented.

Ms. Theresa Ronnebaum, ID Theft Program Specialist, gave an overview of the various
programs and services of the Attorney General’s Office. She demonstrated how people
could navigate the webpage ( to find specific information and
that information is available in Spanish and Creole. She mentioned the State of Florida is
number 1 in the nation for ID theft and number 6 for fraud. Some of the Divisions within
the Attorney General Office are: Antitrust, Civil Rights, Consumer Information, Consumer
Investigations, Crime Victims Services, Criminal Appeals, Criminal Justice Programs,
Child Predator Cyber Crime Unit, Economic Crimes, General Civil Litigation Division,
Government in the Sunshine, Inspector General, Lemon Law, Medicaid Fraud, Seniors v.
Crime and a few others.

The Victim Services hotline # is 1-800-226-6667 and the hotline to report Medicaid Fraud is
1-866-966-7226. In cases of ID theft, the statute of limitations to file a report is one year. In
reply to a question regarding monitoring and prevention, she said the best thing people can do
is to get a copy of their credit report and look for suspicious activity. She suggested that
people use to get a free copy of their credit report.

In reply to a question about getting a new Social Security Number to establish a new identity,
Ms. Ronnebaum replied it would be difficult for the Social Security Administration to issue a
new number. She added that it is possible only in extreme cases of fraud. She suggested that
people don’t use a debit card to prevent becoming a victim.

Ms. Ronnebaum mentioned that she’s available for group presentations and provided her
contact information for those interested. Her office is located at 135 W. Central Blvd., Ste
1150, Orlando, FL 32801. She can also be reached by phone at 407-245-0893 or by email at

Partners for Promise – Kimberly Grabert, Circuit 9 Community Development Administrator
gave a brief overview of the initiative indicating that a focus of attention has been on the
homeless population. Westgate Resorts created a “Hospitality Health” and has taken in 4 to 5
families and provided them with shelter and employment. Concord Management created
“Southern Affordable Services” and has provided free shelter to 87 families. Outreach
activities are being planned and conducted in the tri county area, in partnership with
Northland Community Church, Workforce Central Florida Mobile Unit, Second Harvest and
others to reach those in need. Kimberly indicated she will notify Pedro of future events so
Refugee Services Providers can be partners at these events.

Orlando Area Refugee Task Force                                     April 11, 2012 Meeting Minutes

Taddese asked Pedro to give an update about his meeting with the University of Central
Florida (UCF). Pedro indicated that following up on some of the needs expressed by RS
providers on the recent “Needs Assessment” he coordinated a meeting with UCF College of
Education Clinical Experience and the Undergraduate Division of Experiential Learning to
explore possible internship placement. UCF is very receptive to the idea as long as providers
can provide required level of supervision and provide a learning opportunity for the students.
Providers were asked to outline a description of the functions the students will be expected to
perform for their evaluation and posting. It is anticipated that internship can be in place for
the summer months once providers submit their outlines.

New Arrivals:
Catholic Charities – Glenda Agosto, Resettlement Program Coordinator, reported there had
been 12 arrivals during February and March; all Cubans.
Lutheran Services of Florida – There was no one present to report.

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS):
Tim Haugh, Southeast Regional lead for Community Relations, reminded everyone the
deadline to apply for the Citizenship and Integration Grant Opportunity is May 7. He
added the United States has granted TPS for Syrians; they must re-register by September
25, 2012. He announced the Office of Civil Rights will be conducting a “Civil Rights
Round Table” on April 26 at 3:00 PM at the Orlando Field Office. He introduced Ms.
Lori Pietropaoli as the Acting Director for the Orlando Field Office.

Meg Petroski, Senior Human Services Program Specialist, reported Social Security is
requesting at least two supervisors be designated to sign the referral letters. She said this
is going to cause a delay in getting these letters out. Keith Carpenter, Program
Administrator at the Washington Street Processing Center said he is one of the designated
person. He added things are going well with the RAP unit. They processed 130
applications in January, 373 in February and 403 in March. He said soon they’ll be able to
generate reports showing the point of origination for these applications.

Workforce Central Florida:
Ms. Elisa Spry, ZuCan Special Projects Manager, reported they have been busy
coordinating outreach activities in collaboration with DCF to bring services directly to
customers. She mentioned in some instances employers have hired people at these events,
including a local hotel. Taddese mentioned that there was an issue raised in Palm Beach
where resorts were bringing people from abroad to work for them and one of the county
commissioners raised concerns as to why these employers were not hiring locals. He asked
Ms. Spry if anything like that was going on in Central Florida. There was discussion, but
no definitive conclusion or evidence that it is happening in this area.

Catholic Charities of Central Florida:
Leslie Hungerford, Coordinator of Catholic Charities Comprehensive Refugee Services
(CRS), reported the program officially started March 1 and it takes a comprehensive approach

Orlando Area Refugee Task Force                                   April 11, 2012 Meeting Minutes

to delivering the needed services. She introduced Ms. Deborah Cruz, Case Management
Coordinator, who reported they are working with 200 families so far. She added they hired an
additional Intake Specialist to handle the increase in client flow. They are handling walk-ins
and appointments. She mentioned that collaboration with the RAP Unit has been great. They
are providing orientation to new arrivals and pre-employment training workshops in various

Youth & Family Services – Maria Diez, Program Coordinator, reported they’ve enrolled four
new clients in March and they had 61 carryovers to CRS for a total of 65. RSAE Program had
one new enrollment in March and 64 carryovers for a total of 65 clients. These are
unduplicated clients. They’ve hired two new people for the Youth program and three for
RSAE. They are still looking to hire an additional three (temporary) employees for RSAE.
She mentioned that they are beginning to see clients from Egypt (2) in the Youth Program.

Employability Status Assistance – Noemi Guzman, Coordinator of Employability Status,
reported 105 individual applications (55 for Green Cards and 60 for Renewal of Employment
Authorization). Taddese asked Noemi what their rate of success is with fee waivers; Noemi
replied over 90%.

Orange County Public Schools:
Adult Education – Claudia Good, Program Coordinator, reported they are in transition mode
and working closely with Catholic Charities to get subcontract done to submit it the School
Board as soon as possible. They have been working on closing cases and their new budget.
She added that because they will no longer be doing intake or case management it is likely
she’ll loose two positions.

Community Coordinated Care for Children:
Child Care - Ms. Marie Alicea, Eligibility Specialist, reported their current contract ends
in September and that time it will become a subcontract under Catholic Charities. She said
currently they have 46 children enrolled in the program. They were able to enroll 11 new
clients in March and two in April. They have eight applications on waiting list.

County Health Departments:

Osceola County Health Department – Ana Scuteri, TB Program Manager, reported
screening 65 new arrivals the past two months. Saadia Stephan, Sr. Community House
Nurse, from Orange County Health Department indicated they sometimes get people from
Osceola because they don’t know about Osceola County Health Department services. She
said from now on they’ll enter the client information in the system to ensure the 90 day
compliance and refer clients to them.

Orange County Health Department – Saadia reported a total of 308 clients were served
between January 1 and March 31, 2012. The majority (155) were Cubans. Other populations
served were: Haiti - 19, Burma-18, Colombia- 16, Congo-10 and Iraq 16.

Seminole County Health Department – Patrice Boon, TB Program Manager, reported they
did 32 screenings this past month. She added they have availability on Wednesdays.

Orlando Area Refugee Task Force                                   April 11, 2012 Meeting Minutes

Video on Refugee Experience – Taddese reminded everyone about the refugee video project
explaining the intent is to have refugees speak for themselves about their own experience. He
said it would be a great tool when making community presentations. Pedro added that Ms.
Wendy Oliver, Orange County Public Schools Marketing, Recruitment and Enrollment
Manager, is very much interested in doing a video involving PALMAS students and she’s
working with Claudia to work out the details.

DCF Newsletter – Taddese mentioned that Refugee Services wants to highlight refugee
success stories in our internal newsletter and reminded providers to send copies of their
monthly and quarterly reports to Pedro for possible inclusion.

World Refugee Day – A “Save the Date” flyer was distributed. Pedro indicated the City of
Orlando Office of Multicultural Affairs has agreed to sponsor and host the event at Orlando
City Hall on Monday, June 18 from 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM. The event will feature a
Naturalization Ceremony to be conducted by USCIS. Catholic Charities has committed to
providing Hors D’oeuvres and Refreshments. The group Havana Sound will be performing
live during the reception. The Key Note Speaker will be Attorney Mercedes Leon, a person
who arrived from Cuba at age 16 and had to overcome many hardships to achieve success.


Date:     Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Location: City of Orlando Hispanic Office of Local Assistance (HOLA)
          595 N. Primrose Drive
          Orlando, FL 32803
Contact:        Phone: (407) 317-7336
         (407) 317-7335


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