What is 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 in-kind 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, or community groups, sports teams, book clubs, and many more.
Becoming a Co-Sponsor in IRC Tallahassee
- Based on models reviewed, 6 months is the average amount of time asked of sponsor groups
- Sponsorship Size: Based on models reviewed, preferred group size ranges from 3 to 60 person groups. Offices provide a set range of group sizes. The average size group is about 10 individuals.
- Financial Contributions: Ranges between $3000- $5000 in monetary contribution. Funds are usually given to the office directly and then are used on the client’s behalf.
Responsibilities of Co-Sponsors
- Background Checks: Each group member is responsible for submitting a background check.
- Point Person: In order to maintain good communication with the resettlement agency and keep the group on task, it is important to identify a point person. The point person’s role is to keep communication flowing from the sponsorship team the resettlement agency.
- Co-Sponsorship Agreement: Sign a Co-Sponsorship Agreement detailing the roles and responsibilities of the group and IRC in the resettlement of a family.
- Documentation: Co-Sponsor provides the documents and notes and IRC maintains all case files.
- Monitoring and Oversight: Establish groups point of contact(s) & IRC point of contact. Set communication guidelines and expectation
- Financial Contribution: Begin collecting the amount necessary to match with a family.
How you help them
HOME Teams are paired with a refugee family and help guide them through their first six months in Tallahassee. Teams work together with the family's IRC caseworker to provide essential services such as school enrollment, doctor appointments, bus orientation to help the family navigate their new life in the United States. HOME Teams can also help families learn conversational English, write their resumes, and visit the grocery store. They provide rental assistance that directly benefits the family. Home Teams befriend families through fun activities such as picnics in the park, visits to the library and local museums. Through the HOME Team program groups aid in the integration process and help refugee families rebuild their lives and feel accepted in their new community.
How we help you
HOME Teams receive training and guidance from the IRC's Community Engagement Coordinator. Through regular team meetings and check-ins, team members ask questions and share ideas. The Community Engagement Coordinator is available to groups for any one-on-one support that the team needs.
Interested in learning more?
Contact Leah Costigan or Rose Achar to schedule an information session or to answer any questions: [email protected] and [email protected].