Refugee resettlement: role of local cosponsors

Welcoming the Habib family
Members of Plymouth United Church of Christ meet the Habib family, refugees from Iraq, at the Grand Rapids, Michigan, airport.
Photo: Wes Stevens

Historically, the U.S. refugee program has been characterized as an effective model of public-private partnership. Through private and government funding, and with the help of concerned individuals and voluntary organizations, refugees are properly resettled, adjust to their new homes, and achieve early self-sufficiency.

Often local organizations, such as faith groups and local voluntary organizations in the community, agree to serve as cosponsors for newly arriving refugees. Generally, cosponsors are asked to make a three-month commitment to assist refugees with core services, including:

Individuals who are not a part of a cosponsoring organization are encouraged to volunteer one-on-one with a refugee. Here are some typical needs:

The emphasis of cosponsorship is transitioning refugees to independence, especially economically and occupationally, as quickly as possible. As a refugee ceases to be a refugee and becomes a neighbor and friend, we are all enriched.

Also see Resources for Refugee Sponsors

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