The Long Welcome
More than just Resettlement
Effective refugee resettlement generally requires more than just the immediate and basic needs support that LIRS partners provide during the first few months. Settling into a new home, learning to navigate a new community, and getting a job are key foundations for success; but for a refugee for successful integration into American society, there is still much work to be done.
LIRS’s deep Lutheran roots and 80 years of expertise means that the refugees we resettle have access to a unique community of compassionate and welcoming neighbors… beyond just the case management and social adjustment services we offer. Churches, community groups, and community organizations all play an important role in supporting a new refugee as they learn cultural nuances and build a new life.
LIRS has spent decades nurturing community-based initiatives to support refugees, and we lead the field of refugee resettlement in implementation of community co-sponsorship and community mentorship programming.
Whether sharing a meal or accompanying a new neighbor on a trip to the mall, this extended network comes together to create what we call the Long Welcome–a mosaic of support that will serve a refugee for many years after they first arrive in the U.S.
Ultimately, the goal of the Long Welcome is successful integration of each refugee client. This can be measured, in part, by a refugee’s involvement and participation in their communities, civic engagement, and a visible desire to contribute to their communities.