The CWS Community Sponsorship Program is designed for people who want to welcome newcomers to their communities through community sponsorship. Community sponsorship provides an opportunity for community groups to come together and provide personalized, long-term integration support for a newcomer individual or family. Community sponsors provide connection to local resources, offer friendship and guidance, and play a crucial part in transforming their communities into safe places for newcomers.
This program has a variety of different sponsorship pathways that vary depending on the population being served and the potential sponsor’s proximity to a local office. Each pathway falls under one of two categories: co-sponsorship or private sponsorship. Both pathways are designed to support sponsors as they provide friendship, connection to local resources, and a safe landing place for newcomers.
Co-sponsorship is a pathway for newcomers who have come through the traditional refugee resettlement program and who are clients of a resettlement agency. Co-sponsor groups provide core services in coordination with CWS agency staff for 90 days. Co-sponsors close to a CWS office will work with local staff, while co-sponsors outside of 100 miles from an office can partner with CWS headquarters staff to serve clients.
The available co-sponsorship pathways through CWS include:
Co-sponsor with Local Office
Remote Placement Community Partners
Private sponsorship is an alternative pathway for newcomers who do not come through the traditional refugee resettlement program. CWS Private Sponsor Groups commit to provide all services to newcomers with technical assistance from CWS staff for at least 90 days. Groups may be located anywhere in the US.
The available private sponsorship pathways through CWS include:
Together We Welcome Conference
On March 4th, 2022, CWS along with our Faith Solidarity Team invited faith leaders, clergy, community organizers and immigrant leaders to a dynamic virtual and inaugural event to hear from impacted voices as well as timely and relevant information about resettlement & migration from faith leaders, national and local resettlement staff and other experts in forced migration. Attendees spent the weekend learning about migration and displacement and walked away with specific action steps to foster welcome in their local communities.
Click HERE to view the recorded sessions from the event
Community Sponsorship Manual
This resource was created for communities working with Church World Service local and affiliate offices to welcome refugees resettled in the United States. Portions might be useful in work with other newcomer immigrants and asylum seekers; however, it is important to note that the content was designed for working with the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. Although much of the information laid out in this manual will be applicable throughout all community sponsorship work, it is important to always follow the guidance of local agency with the understanding that the work may look different according to local context.
Community Sponsorship During COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic and the social distancing measures have drastically changed the ways in which we connect with each other. As community members there are still ways that you can offer welcome and comfort to newly arrived refugees and immigrants during this time. This tool kit will provide you with suggestions, activities and educational opportunities that you can do from the safety of your home to support refugees and immigrants.
REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT 2020: WHAT'S NEXT
Presenter: Mia Witte, CWS Deputy Director for Resettlement
ADVOCACY & EDUCATION AT THE NATIONAL, STATE, AND LOCAL LEVEL
Presenters: Meredith Owen, CWS Deputy Director of Policy and Advocacy; Adamou Mohamed, CWS Community Organizing Coordinator
US/MEXICO BORDER UPDATE & ASYLUM SEEKERS
Presenters: Diego Lopez, Shelter Manager with Casa Alitas in Tucson, AZ; Aaron Tate, CWS Director of Program Innovation
UPLIFTING THE LEADERSHIP OF REFUGEES IN COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
Presenters: Noel Andersen, CWS National Grassroots Coordinator; Rodrigue Makelele, CWS Refugee Organizer - Virginia