The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) Albany Field Office will launch a new community sponsorship program that matches sponsors with newly and previously arrived refugees, asylees, and other forcibly displaced populations, and will share its experience in establishing the program with other USCRI affiliates across the country. With letters of commitment from pre-identified groups willing to serve as sponsors, the agency is well-positioned to reach its ambitious goal of 35 sponsors secured by the end of 2022.
"Community sponsorship programs offer opportunities for people in cities and towns across the country to help refugees as they settle into their new homes, providing much-needed support that enables them to integrate more fully into their new communities. In recent years, there have been major disruptions to refugee resettlement, including the many challenges posed by COVID-19. With arrival numbers expected to increase over the next few years, now is the time for expanded community sponsorship to strengthen refugee resettlement capacity."
"When USCRI Albany clients receive support for longer periods of time while simultaneously developing relationships with community members, they gain a more sustainable and realistic chance for successfully integrating and contributing to the region’s economic success. As sponsors engage in a more hands-on role in strengthening integration and independence, they will benefit from a rejuvenated sense of community and purpose that promotes positive and welcoming attitudes towards refugees and other forcibly displaced populations."
"USCRI Albany will leverage CSCF support to make a difference in the lives of refugees in the Capital Region of New York State through long-term commitments from community sponsors, simultaneously growing a constituency that is willing and prepared to challenge negative rhetoric around newcomers and seeding the spread of community sponsorship. The program will improve integration outcomes for refugees and other forcibly displaced populations by engaging community groups, faith-based organizations, and businesses in community sponsorship."