January 19, 2022
BALTIMORE — Today, the State Department launched the Welcome Corps, a new refugee private sponsorship program that will allow everyday Americans to privately sponsor refugees coming to the United States. This extraordinary new program will expand community support for refugees and also eventually allow private citizens to sponsor refugees they identify abroad to be resettled to the United States. World Relief applauds this effort and is eager to partner with the U.S. government and communities all across the United States to welcome refugees, both through our own refugee resettlement program as well as through the new private sponsorship program.
The Welcome Corps has a goal to mobilize at least 10,000 Americans to partner with members of their communities to help refugees secure initial housing in the U.S., greet them at the airport, enroll children in school, and help adults to find employment. World Relief is committed to assisting the Welcome Corps reach that goal.
“At a time of unprecedented displacement, innovative programs like the Welcome Corps are needed to expand U.S. resettlement to the persecuted abroad. For years, faith communities have desired to welcome refugees independently, utilizing their resources and connections to create a sense of belonging for new Americans,” said Myal Greene, president and CEO of World Relief. “Our hope is that this program expands public-private partnerships and also catalyzes a greater movement of Americans to welcome refugees into their communities.”
Over the past few years, Americans have been overwhelmingly supportive of welcoming refugees, including Afghans, Ukrainians, Venezuelans, Haitians, Cubans, and Nicaraguans. The launch of the Welcome Corps helps formally support these efforts and will hopefully lead to a greater number of refugees eventually being resettled to the United States.
“The introduction of the Welcome Corps program is a meaningful step in the right direction, empowering our communities to support vulnerable individuals who are seeking protection from persecution in their countries of origin,” said Jenny Yang, Senior Vice President of Advocacy and Policy at World Relief.
Through the Welcome Corps, groups of at least five individual American citizens or permanent resident adults are able to apply to privately sponsor refugees resettling to the United States. Private sponsors are responsible for independently raising funds to support refugees for their first 90 days in their new community, as well as helping refugees find housing, employment, and connecting them to community services.
For more information on the Welcome Corps or to become a private sponsor, visit the Welcome Corps website. Further information and education is also available on the World Relief website. We encourage churches, individuals, and other community organizations to explore these resources for more information and reach out with any questions or concerns.
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