Refugee co-sponsorship gives congregations and community groups the opportunity to welcome a refugee family to Minnesota. Co-sponsors assist new refugee families for their first four months in the US and help them on the path to self-sufficiency through a supportive partnership with MCC Refugee Services. By offering support to refugees, congregations live out God’s call to welcome the stranger, and help transform a refugee’s new country into a new home. The two videos are a great way to learn more about this opportunity.
Church Co-Sponsorship, Episcopal Migration Ministries
A Future with Hope, Church World Service
What is involved in co-sponsorship?
Congregations and community groups work with Refugee Services staff to help refugees get to crucial resources and learn their way around their new community. This process might include:
- Gathering essential furnishings and helping set up the family’s apartment
- Welcoming the refugee family at the airport
- Providing transportation to initial appointments
- Assisting with school and English class registration
- Helping refugees learn their way around their new neighborhood
- Teaching the family about important local resources like libraries, parks and clinics
The most important responsibility of a co-sponsoring congregation is to help new arrivals move towards self-sufficiency.
Who can participate?
Congregational co-sponsorship utilizes the unique gifts, talents and resources of an entire faith community, and is steered by the efforts of a committed group within the congregation. A co-sponsorship committee is led by a coordinator, and individual members focus on furnishings, school, employment, transportation, and hospitality. The core co-sponsorship team can range from 6-12 people. Congregations are asked to make a commitment for a 4 month period.
How are congregations supported in this work?
Congregations interested in refugee co-sponsorship begin by meeting with a Refugee Services staff member. Through a series of meetings, Refugee Services will help the congregation organize a co-sponsorship team, provide information about the needs and culture of the refugee family, and inform the team of the family’s arrival. Refugee Services matches a congregation with a refugee family overseas after assessing the team’s needs and capabilities.
Once the refugees arrive, the co-sponsorship team works closely with the Refugee Services Volunteer and Outreach Specialist and the family’s caseworker, who serve as resources and guides through the resettlement process through weekly phone calls and monthly meetings.
Who do I contact to find out more?
firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-230-3219