Good Neighbor Teams
Our Good Neighbor Teams are a committed partnership between World Relief Spokane, a newly arrived family, and a local church. A small group of volunteers from a local church partner is trained to walk alongside one refugee/asylee family or group of individuals for 6 months, supported by the prayers of their congregation.
Good Neighbor Team involvement is a high-responsibility partnership between the local church, World Relief Seattle staff, and an immigrant or refugee family. The first step is to have a conversation with WRS staff to understand the depth of commitment, start preparing a volunteer team leader, and raise financial support. Each Good Neighbor Team commits to a financial partnership to support the refugee resettlement program.
With that foundation in place, WRS staff provide intensive training to those considering GNT involvement. Who are refugees? How will our group work with World Relief staff? What responsibilities will our group have? What tasks are the responsibility of WRS? These important issues are discussed in depth during 8 group trainings and one-on-one meetings with World Relief staff. Applications and background checks are also required for all team members during this time.
Once trained, in partnership with our Good Neighbor Team Coordinator and other World Relief staff, the group will be matched with an arriving refugee family or group of asylees. With the caseworker’s oversight, the group will take responsibility for much of the resettlement process, which may include: finding and furnishing housing; registrations at schools and local government agencies; day-to-day skills training; finding and securing jobs; etc. – all things the GNT has been trained to help with. The primary period for this resettlement assistance is 6 months. All the while, the GNT will be cultivating mutually transformative long-term relationships with their new neighbors.