New York City—Refugee Housing Solutions (RHS) is an initiative of Church World Service that began in October 2021 with U.S. Department of State funding through its Bureau for Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM). RHS partners with the State Department’s 10 national Resettlement Agencies and their 300+ local offices and affiliates nationwide. RHS’ goal is to increase safe, affordable housing availability for refugees and other newcomers to the United States. To do this, the RHS team creates and shares resources, convenes housing communities of practice and a National Housing Working Group, and leads webinars and technical assistance sessions to support resettlement practitioners and housing providers as well as community and faith group that house and help refugees and newcomers. The RHS team also works with local, state, and federal government partners – and refugees – to achieve its aims.
Every Campus A Refuge (ECAR) is a higher education initiative that started in September 2015 at North Carolina’s Guilford College. Its mission is to partner every U.S. college and university with a local refugee resettlement agency to host refugees on campus grounds and support their successful integration into U.S. communities. Since its founding 14 campuses have started ECAR chapters, seven other campuses have hosted refugees, and 25 campuses have shown interest in starting an ECAR chapter to join the movement to advocate for, and show how, universities can temporarily house refugees and help in multiple other ways with newcomers’ resettlement into a local community.
ECAR is also a partner of the CWS Refugee Welcome Collective (RWC), which is a PRM-funded initiative to improve settling-in experiences for refugees resettled through the U.S. Refugee Admissions program. The RWC team provides in-depth training programs, weekly learning sessions, resources, and on-demand technical assistance for newcomer sponsors, community sponsorship staff, refugees paired with sponsors, and other community and institutional partners, like ECAR.
“I’m pleased that Refugee Housing Solutions’ director, Lindsey Guerrero and RHS will now partner with the ECAR team and me as we work to innovate further to identify more housing for refugees,” said Dr. Diya Abdo, Director and Founder of ECAR. “I look forward to working with RHS as we also do with the Refugee Welcome Collective and many Resettlement Agencies’ local offices and affiliates nationwide. With ECAR continuing to leverage campus housing resources and facilitate opportunities for engagement between campuses and communities and RHS continuing to expand innovation and engagement with private and government sector housing providers, we hope to bring ever more attention to the housing needs, and opportunities, for refugees and other newcomers.”
“The RHS team and I are pleased to join our Refugee Welcome Collective colleagues in their ongoing partnership with ECAR,” said Lindsey Guerrero, CWS Director of Housing and Refugee Housing Solutions. “As my team and I work to create innovative refugee housing solutions nationwide, we know partnerships are key to our collective success and are grateful to be working alongside such an innovative leader in higher education’s engagement for refugees.”
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