Refugee Resettlement is a Public and Private Partnership!
Co-sponsor groups partner with Bridge Refugee Services to supplement the work that Case Managers do with each refugee individual or family. The Case Manager works closely with the Community Assistance Team to ensure that all
needs are met. The Volunteer Manager at Bridge is responsible for training each group and providing ongoing support and communication throughout the partnership. You are not on your own!
Who is a Co-Sponsor?
They are faith and community partners who walk alongside resettled refugees as they adjust to a new home and a new life in the United States. These partners commit to support refugees as they seek to lead self-sufficient lives, contribute, and integrate into their new communities. Here’s how:
1. Contact the Volunteer Manager for Knoxville at Volunteerknox@bridgerefugees.org / 865-540-1311 or for Chattanooga at email@example.com / 423-207-2538.
2. Have a Group Orientation /Training.
3. Fill out a Faith/Community Commitment form choosing at least three of the following activities:
- Stock the pantry: Purchase culturally appropriate groceries for the family.
- Welcome Home: Help set up an apartment for an arriving refugee individual or family.
- Welcome Meal: Prepare a culturally appropriate meal, ready for the individual or family to enjoy immediately up on arrival at their new home.
- Arrival: Pick up the individual or family from the airport and welcome them to their new home and community.
- Health: Accompany the individual or family to medical appointments and assist as an advocate for the individual or family’s healthcare access.
- Transportation Assistance: In partnership with local agency staff and case managers, arrange for transportation of individual or family in situations where public transportation is not practical.
- Rental Assistance: Make a financial contribution to the local agency to assist in paying for housing.
- Seasonal Clothing: Provide seasonal clothing and footwear for work, school, and everyday use for each member of the family.
- Conversation: Focus on developing English skills with the individual or family.
- Financial Education: Reinforce the training case managers provide and assist in facilitating financial education for the family.
- Community Guide: Use your creativity to help the refugee family to learn more about their new community.
- Job Development: Assist the Case Managers with employment preparation in order to work towards self sufficiency. Locate potential job opportunities, and mentoring refugees.
- Community Guide:Use your creativity to help the refugee individual or family to learn more about their new community, and how to get involved.
Co-Sponsorship is an empowering experience. The Welcoming community is enriched by the giving spirit and the joy it brings; the refugee families you empower are then able to share their gifts, talents, and impactful narratives with the community. This circle of giving is embodied in the refugee resettlement process.
If you are ready to Co-Sponsor a family, please use this tool to organize your community group and contact the Volunteer Manager in your area for the next step.