Stronger Support Through Welcoming Communities
The heart of Hello Neighbor and all that we do has always revolved around one simple thought: how do we stand with our new neighbors? Our organization was founded with our Mentorship program and a belief in the power of meaningful, one-on-one relationships in creating communities of belonging for newcomers. We then expanded our work to support new and expecting mothers (Smart Start), empower students (Study Buddy), and most recently, to welcome our newest neighbors from the moment they arrive in Pittsburgh (Resettlement).
Now, we’re bringing our one-on-one mentorship model to our new endeavor as a federal resettlement agency. Together, the old and new combine to form our new Community Co-Sponsorship program- forever changing the way we welcome and support newcomers! Under co-sponsorship, community groups have the opportunity to partner with our Resettlement team in order to provide financial and social support for newly arriving refugee families. Sponsors receive individualized training, resources, and support from our Community Co-Sponsorship coordinator to ensure that groups are prepared to successfully welcome newcomers at every step in the resettlement journey.
Co-Sponsor Program Components
Refugee Resettlement, like many social services programs, requires a dedicated team of people working together in support of others. The Hello Neighbor Team is a close-knit group whose hard work and creativity combine to provide exceptional services in support of families meeting their goals - whether that be learning English, finding a first job, or navigating the intricacies of various U.S. systems.
Now, Hello Neighbor is ready to share in this endeavor with the greater Pittsburgh community! Canada, our neighbors to the North, and a whole host of US nonprofits have proven that ordinary citizens can revolutionize the way refugees are welcomed, supported, and integrated by communities. Although our team offers culturally competent services, our role is not that of a friend, but an advisor. This is where you come in! We believe that you bring various unique strengths traditional resettlement is missing.
Through Hello Neighbor’s Community Co-Sponsorship program we aspire to:
- Decrease the loneliness and isolation that comes with being a newcomer in the U.S.
- Leverage the education, experience and resources of community groups to provide newly resettled families with services, support, and a jumpstart on early self-sufficiency
- Decrease dependence on Hello Neighbor as the sole support for newly arrived families
- Increase Hello Neighbor’s capacity to help additional families to the fullest extent
- Facilitate lifelong friendships and community integration
- Increase the level of knowledge and understanding surrounding the US Refugee Resettlement process and create a more Welcoming Pittsburgh
Apply to become a Co-Sponsor Team
Will your community group join the work of welcomers? Ready to get started?Apply Here
Please note that co-sponsor teams have fundraising and training requirements that must be fulfilled before matching with a family! For questions, contact our Community Co-Sponsorship Coordinator, Lexie Garcia, email@example.com.
Who Can Be a Co-Sponsor Team?
- Faith Groups
- Community Groups
- Book Clubs
- Activity Clubs
- Employer volunteer groups
- Any group of 5-15 friends!
- Rev. Daniel Behrens, Church of the Ascension Co-Sponsor Team
Church of the Ascension is the very first co-sponsor team to join Hello Neighbor for this exciting new program! Interested in hearing more about their journey? Read more about the team HERE.
Learn more about our
Community Co-Sponsorship program
- What goes into the first 90 days of resettlement? Follow along with our Resettlement Timeline service checklist.
- Starting to form a team? Check out our guide to structuring your co-sponsor team.
- What are the requirements for a team to match with a family? Look over our Co-Sponsorship Green Light Form - the checklist we use to confirm that a team has everything they need to welcome a family!
- What does it mean to sponsor a family? Listen to the stories of welcoming communities in this short video from Refugee Council USA.
- More questions? Take a look at our Community Co-Sponsorship FAQs page.