In January 2021, the IRC in Charlottesville and Richmond launched the Housing, Outreach, Mentorship & Education (HOME) program. Organized faith and civic groups work to welcome a family alongside the IRC, setting up their apartment, collecting donations for the family, helping them to learn English and navigate their new community.
Faced with the unprecedented challenge of welcoming a significant number of Afghan Evacuee families over the next few months, the IRC will expand the scope of the HOME program outside of the immediate Charlottesville and Richmond area to other communities in Central Virginia. We are seeking the support of faith and civic groups to co-sponsor a family; working with IRC staff members to help identify housing, connect family members with appropriate social services and health screenings, enroll children in school, provide transportation (perhaps even donate a car), and job-hunt for the adults. The IRC will provide training for a core team of volunteers within the group, as well as a dedicated staff contact, and a checklist of required services within the first 30 and 90 days after a family arrives. We will also provide access to phone/video interpretation for appointments and additional resources to help new families learn, grow, and thrive in your community.
If your faith or civic group is interested in co-sponsoring a family and you are within 100 miles of our offices in Charlottesville or Richmond, please review these materials to learn more, and contact Sponsor.VA [at] rescue.org to complete an interest survey. We will be hosting several virtual information sessions in October. Please email Sponsor.VA [at] rescue.org for dates and registration information. This is an unprecedented time, and we are so grateful for the outpouring of support we have received from our communities to welcome Afghans and other refugees to Central Virginia.