According to the UNHCR, there were over 35.3 million refugees worldwide as of June 2023. These are individuals and families who have been forced to flee their homes because of war, violence, conflict or persecution.

The United States issued a Presidential Determination for 2023 to welcome up to 125,000 refugees. In addition to the services and support provided by refugee agencies and their local affiliates, this work is only successful with the assistance of volunteers, sponsors, and donors. Refugee resettlement is true community-building work that brings all of us together to welcome our newest neighbors. 

There are meaningful opportunities for you to contribute to this work in ways that are tailored to your interest and capacity.
We invite you to join us in building a longer table where all are welcome! 

One of the ways EMM welcomes refugees is through local resettlement affiliates. EMM’s 12 affiliates provide on-going, direct services to ensure that refugees have a smooth transition into their new communities. Some of these services include welcome at the airport, the provision of housing and necessities, school enrollment for children and English classes for adults, medical and employment support, and orientation to their new community. EMM supports local affiliates with federal funds, training, and ongoing coaching. To better serve the number of refugees worldwide seeking safety, EMM is looking for new affiliate partners with a desire to welcome and serve others, values similar to EMM’s, and 501c(3) status. 

EMM also welcomes  refugees through Remote Placement Community Partners. These community partners are groups of at least five people and are located in areas at least 100 miles from typical resettlement affiliates. Remote Placement provides groups an opportunity to build bridges within their communities by welcoming newcomers and providing necessary direct services. As an RPCP, you will provide on-the-ground services for 90 days to ensure that refugees have a smooth transition as they settle into their new home in the U.S. Some of the services you will provide include welcoming individuals at the airport, securing housing and necessities, assisting with school enrollment for children and English classes for adults, providing medical and employment support, and orienting your new neighbors to their new community. All RPCPs receive federal funds, virtual training, and virtual coaching.  

Community Sponsorship is an umbrella term to describe different models of resettlement where certain refugees are paired with community groups. As we work together to create more welcoming communities, community sponsorship provides an opportunity for groups to volunteer in support of the welcome and integration of newly arrived refugees. Community sponsor groups come from faith communities, businesses, social groups, and can include individuals who come together to form a sponsorship group. As a Community Sponsor group, you will serve as ambassadors of welcome in your cities and towns and help equip, guide, and educate newcomers as they navigate their new home in the U.S. You will work in collaboration with EMM’s local affiliates to provide volunteer services and clearly defined in-kind and/or financial contributions. Activities will differ depending on the need and structure of each community sponsorship program and affiliate office, but regardless of the services provided, the benefits to community members and newcomers are significant. CS Groups sign a non-legally binding MOU with their affiliate office when entering a partnership. EMM headquarters and all EMM affiliates have staff on board dedicated to training, supporting, and growing community sponsorship groups. 

Neighbor to Neighbor is EMM’s sponsorship program for asylum seekers and other populations. EMM trains and provides ongoing support to faith communities who serve as community sponsors by supporting their new neighbors through friendship, fostering community connections, and providing practical support. Some of the activities of NtN include providing housing, assisting newcomers in accessing services and navigating the community, enrolling children in school, supporting adults in learning English, and securing employment. NtN teams must have a minimum of 5 members with a designated leader, undergo background checks, sign codes of conduct, go through training, and sign a non-legally binding Covenant MOU with EMM outlining their roles and responsibilities throughout the sponsorship.

Thank you for your interest in partnering with EMM to provide services to newcomers. We are grateful for your continued support and commitment to building welcoming communities. It is because of the dedication and faithfulness of EMM supporters, friends, and partners that we are able to provide the services and support necessary to ensure our newest neighbors have the foundation to achieve success in their new communities.

To help us identify the best way for you to join in the work of  welcome, please complete the questions below and submit. Once EMM staff have reviewed your information, we will be in touch! 

Webinar – On-Demand Video

Learn more by watching “A Year of Welcome,” a webinar hosted by Episcopal Parish Network featuring EMM staff and a newcomer who was sponsored through our Ways to Welcome opportunities.

“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”

– Hebrews 13:2