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World Relief to Expand Refugee Resettlement Program to Eight New Locations

(Baltimore, MD) September 1, 2023 –Today, World Relief announces a significant expansion of
its US programs that partner with local churches to serve refugees and other immigrants. By next
month, World Relief will have opened four new office locations as well as partnered with other
missionally-aligned organizations to begin refugee resettlement in four additional locations.

“We’re excited to welcome and support more refugees and other immigrants as we open in new
communities,” said World Relief Senior Vice President of US Programs Aerlande Wontamo. “In
the midst of an unprecedented global displacement crisis, we’re eager to do more — in more
places — to help refugees to rebuild their lives in the United States.”

The new World Relief office locations are in:

  • Austin, Texas
  • Baltimore, Maryland
  • Eau Claire, Wisconsin
  • Scott County, Iowa

World Relief will also be facilitating refugee resettlement in four other communities through
affiliated organizations:

This expansion follows the opening of new World Relief offices in Dallas, Texas, San Diego,
California and Olympia, Washington earlier this year. World Relief will also be expanding refugee
resettlement in other communities throughout the United States – beyond the locations where it
has physical office locations – through the Welcome Corps, an innovative new private
sponsorship process. World Relief was recently announced as a Private Sponsorship
Organization authorized to equip teams from local churches or other community groups in the
process of welcoming refugee families to communities where there may not be any refugee
resettlement organization.

Just over six years ago, World Relief regrettably announced the closure of several long standing
World Relief offices and the layoff of many staff, largely as a consequence of dramatic changes to
U.S. refugee policies. The expansion announced today is both possible and needed as the U.S.
has once again resumed refugee resettlement at levels closer to the historic norm, and as the
State Department has indicated its intention to further increase resettlement in the year to come.

This expansion is also possible because of the support of local churches, who serve as a central
partner in World Relief’s work throughout the world. The U.S. expansion announced today comes
as public support for refugee resettlement among evangelical Christians has experienced a
dramatic reversal. In 2018, just 25 percent of white evangelicals expressed support for refugee
resettlement, but by 2022, multiple polls found white evangelical support for refugee
resettlement at 68 percent, while support among Americans with evangelical beliefs of all
ethnicities was 73 percent.

“For more than forty years, the public-private partnership between the government, civil society and local churches has been instrumental in fulfilling our calling to love and welcome our newest neighbors to communities across the United States. We are excited that as public policy has once again become more welcoming, evangelical Christians are showing a resurgence in interest in creating communities of welcome, creating an extraordinary opportunity for growth and rebuilding of the program,” observed Myal Greene, President and CEO of World Relief. “We cannot fulfill our mission without the partnership of local churches, and we’re eager to engage local churches in each of these new communities as we begin refugee resettlement. And since our long-term ability to welcome refugees depends upon governmental policies, we urge presidential candidates and Members of Congress of all parties to heed the voices of evangelical Christians and other Americans who are eager to see the continued rebuilding and expansion of the U.S. refugee resettlement program.”

To download a PDF version of this release, click here.

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