New York, NY, June 13, 2023 — Today, 12 diverse organizations joined the Welcome Corps as Private Sponsor Organizations. They will leverage their expertise to help recruit, support, and oversee Americans who are sponsoring newcomers through the Welcome Corps.
The Welcome Corps is a U.S. government community service program that launched in January 2023 and allows everyday Americans to privately sponsor refugees from around the world. The Welcome Corps is the boldest innovation in the United States’ approach to refugee resettlement in more than 40 years.
The new Welcome Corps Private Sponsor Organizations include:
- Catholic Charities of Onondaga County
- Church World Service
- Ethiopian Community Development Council
- Homes for Refugees USA
- International Institute of Metropolitan St. Louis
- International Rescue Committee
- IRIS – Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services
- Rainbow Railroad
- World Relief
Through the Welcome Corps, eligible American citizens and lawful permanent residents work in groups of five or more to welcome refugees under the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) by securing and preparing initial housing, greeting refugee newcomers at the airport, enrolling children in school, getting driver’s license and helping adults to find employment. Private Sponsor Organizations coach these Americans in carrying out core private sponsorship services, including making connections with local community organizations and services and newly arriving refugees resettled through the USRAP. Organizations will also assist sponsors in navigating the sponsorship process, including group dynamics and supporting refugees from diverse experiences and backgrounds.
Hans Van de Weerd, Senior Vice President for Resettlement, Asylum, and Integration at the International Rescue Committee, said:
“The Welcome Corps is a much-needed pathway to help additional refugees find protection and freedom in the United States. Private sponsorship through the Welcome Corps is an opportunity for Americans from all walks of life to live their values by welcoming refugees, and the International Rescue Committee is proud to support them on this journey as a Private Sponsor Organization (PSO). As a PSO, the International Rescue Committee will provide private sponsor groups with the support and guidance to safely and successfully resettle refugees in local communities.”