Circle of Welcome | LIRS

What is Co-Sponsorship? 

Co-sponsorship is a special relationship between a local resettlement agency, a community group, and a refugee family. This type of volunteer commitment is incredibly important to the work of welcome. Together with your community group*, you can walk alongside and support a refugee family in what LIRS calls “The Long Welcome”. Co-sponsors bring an essential level of commitment, continuity, and care for the refugees they serve and significantly multiply and extend the services refugees receive. Although co-sponsorship is a serious commitment, it is also a meaningful way to engage with refugees. 

Co-Sponsorship Requires Commitment: 
  • Commit to one year of service 
  • Written commitment with your local resettlement agency to support a refugee family 
  • Commit to raising between $3,000 and $7,000 to extend financial support for a refugee family based on their needs 

*Co-sponsorship community groups must be represented by an established community, such as a school, employer, or congregation. Co-sponsorship community groups do not need to be associated with a religious organization. Please see below for more information how groups of friends can support refugee resettlement. 

If your community is committed to serving refugees through co-sponsorship, register below!

Communities of Welcome 

Community sponsorship differs from co-sponsorship in that it doesn’t require as formal of a commitment. If your community group isn’t ready for co-sponsorship or doesn’t quite meet the requirements of being an established community group, there are still many ways to get involved! 

Community Sponsors Can Help By: 
  • Committing to raise money to pay for rent for a refugee family for a set amount of time 
  • Setting-up apartments for arriving newcomers 
  • Mentoring refugee families in English language acquisition, job readiness training, school preparation, adjusting to U.S. culture 
  • Becoming a welcoming community and helping to connect them to resources in their new communities to their new homes 

*Opportunities vary based on the local resettlement office.  

If you are committed to serving refugees through community sponsorship, sign up below!

Rooted in Faith 

Our faith calls on us to welcome the stranger. Co-sponsorship is a direct response to neighbors seeking concrete and transformative ways to welcome refugees and migrants through love and service. 

EMMAUS: Congregational Discernment is LIRS’ invitation for congregations to consider how they can respond to the biblical call to welcome the stranger. 

Through the three sessions of the Discernment Guide, faith communities will meet to pray, discuss, and discern how they can accompany refugees and migrants as they rebuild their lives.

Additional Resources

A Refugee Family's Journey

Call to Welcome: Co-Sponsorship Webinar

Still Have Questions About Co-Sponsorship?

Check out our Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQs) below!

Co-sponsorship groups can vary in size. On average, we prefer groups of at least 5 people and no more than 12, but there are no official requirements. 

Each of our affiliate offices are following the recommended federal and state requirements for COVID safety. Our top priority is making sure our Afghans and our volunteers are safe and healthy. Additionally, our new neighbors are being vaccinated at military bases as they arrive. 

LIRS is working closely with our partners to make sure that all volunteers and potential co-sponsors are connected to their nearest resettlement site. To help us maintain this process, we ask that you fill out our co-sponsorship form LINK. 

Written agreements vary by local resettlement site, however, it generally outlines the expectations of what activities volunteers will be doing to support the family versus what the resettlement agency is responsible for and the time commitment expected.  

The money that co-sponsors raise is supplemental to the funds given by the U.S. Government. Finances are handled collaboratively between the co-sponsorship group, the local resettlement agency, and the family with the goal of meeting their most pressing needs. Often this does include rent, healthcare, transportation, and school supplies. 

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