Are you passionate about making a difference in the lives of refugees in your area? Do you believe in the power of community support for successful integration? Join a community group to collaborate with IRC Seattle to help refugee families resettle into their new home.
What is a Community Sponsorship?
Community Sponsorship is defined as an umbrella term that describes different models of resettlement, whereby certain program beneficiaries are paired with community groups which commit to provide clearly defined and/or financial contributions as well as volunteer services to support the welcome and integration of beneficiaries in a local community. These community groups can take many forms, including local clubs, university communities, faith-based institutions, community groups, sports teams, book clubs, and many more.
Co-sponsorship is a form of community sponsorship available to groups located within 100 miles of participating local IRC offices. These groups provide clearly defined financial and in-kind contributions as well as services for a refugee family, while their efforts are overseen by the local IRC office.
Your Impact as a Co-Sponsor
As a co-sponsor, your responsibilities will encompass a range of vital tasks that directly impact the well-being of the sponsored family. Working alongside the IRC Seattle office, your efforts will be instrumental in helping the family establish themselves in their new community and navigate the challenges of their resettlement journey.
Key Services You Can Provide Include:
- Securing Safe and Affordable Housing: Your group will play a crucial role in finding a suitable housing unit for the refugee family, ensuring it meets safety standards and is available for at least 6-12 months. This includes identifying affordable options and coordinating with landlords and property managers.
- Equipping Housing with Household Items: To assist the family in settling into their new home, you will help furnish the housing unit with appropriate household items. This ensures they have the essentials to start their new life comfortably.
- Airport Greeting and Welcome: Show your support from the beginning by greeting and welcoming the refugee family at the airport upon their arrival. This warm reception helps them feel welcomed and valued in their new community.
- Initial Basic Needs Support: As a co-sponsor, you will provide food and essential items to meet the family's basic needs at the beginning of their resettlement period. This support can include groceries, clothing, toiletries, and other necessary supplies.
- English Classes and Employment Services: Connect adult family members to English language classes and employment services, such as job training programs, job fairs, and networking opportunities. Assisting them in finding suitable employment will significantly contribute to their economic stability and self-reliance.
- Assisting with Personal Identification Documents: Assist the family in gathering and obtaining necessary personal identification documents, such as state ID, social security cards, and other official paperwork required for various purposes.
- School Enrollment for Minors: Help enroll minor family members in local schools, ensuring they have access to education and a supportive learning environment.
- Medical Follow-Up and Transportation: Help facilitate medical follow-up appointments for the family, including arranging transportation to healthcare facilities. This ensures their health needs are met, and all necessary medical care is provided.
- Case Notes and Documentation: Maintain thorough case notes and documentation to track the family's progress, document services provided, and ensure effective communication between all stakeholders involved in the sponsorship process.
Who Qualifies to be Co-sponsors?
- Be located within 100 miles of the IRC Seattle office.
- Attend an information session virtually or in-person.
- Have a team of 6-10 dedicated volunteers.
- Commit to 6 months of mentorship and client support.
- Raise $6,000 to support the family you will be working with. This sum can be comprised, in part, of in-kind donations, and will supplement other benefits the family receives.
- Be available to deliver support to the family during business hours (when many of their appointments are scheduled).
- The team lead(s) must submit an application on behalf of the group, and each group member must undergo a background check.
- Attend a two-part orientation and training.
- Team leader(s) will sign a non-binding Co-Sponsorship agreement with IRC.
- Participate in regular check-in sessions with IRC staff
- Visit https://www.rescue.org/united-states/seattle-wa to learn more about resettlement and IRC programs in Seattle!
- Review the requirements above and find like-minded people willing to join your team.
- Submit an IRC Seattle Co-Sponsorship Interest Form and schedule an information session with IRC’s Community Sponsorship Coordinator, Lidet Gezahegne at [email protected].
- Review the IRC Seattle Co-Sponsorship Manual.
- Complete an IRC Seattle Co-Sponsor Group Team Application
- Schedule an interview session with IRC’s Community Sponsorship Coordinator, Lidet Gezahegne at [email protected].