The Community Sponsorship Catalyst Fund will support the New Roots Fund, a Seattle-based microloan organization, and the Diocese of Olympia, in launching a new community sponsorship program. In addition to the ten congregations who have already expressed interest in sponsorship, the New Roots Fund will leverage their extensive contacts to identify sponsors within the business and banking communities, and provide unique support to refugees with entrepreneurial backgrounds or interest in starting new businesses.
"Over the past four years, many local non-profits – including those helping refugees and other newcomers to the community – have unfortunately had to close their doors. Some organizations have held on; but many face tremendous challenges in rebuilding and providing a more robust range of quality services. Washington State, where the New Roots Fund is located, has a rich history of refugee resettlement. This pilot project will enable our organization to build upon this statewide support and invest more deeply in programming that will grow community engagement in this work."
"This project will play a key role in rebuilding refugee resettlement in the Seattle area. Through this opportunity, refugees will be able to receive more comprehensive support so their adjustment to living in the United States is easier to navigate and community-led. Refugees have contributed to the success of our communities in so many ways. Reciprocally, dedicated community sponsors can help their newest neighbors in finding safe and affordable housing, gaining employment, and figuring out the process of securing health care and registering children for school. We have found these types of experiences to be very meaningful for both newly arrived refugees and the community members involved."
"CFCS support will leverage the time, energy, and financial generosity of community volunteers. This program will enable our organization to reach out and invite a variety of groups – including churches, civic clubs, chambers of commerce, former peace-corps participants, sororities and fraternities – to take part in this important effort."