Hello Neighbor receives federal approval to resettle refugees

A letter from our Founder on becoming a resettlement partner and expanding our capacity to support new refugee arrivals.

October 11, 2021

Hello Neighbor Community,

We have big news to share with you.

Hello Neighbor has received federal approval to start directly resettling refugees across Allegheny County effective immediately.

We will be working in partnership with the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants to support new refugee arrivals, including Afghan refugees, from the moment they step off the plane in Pittsburgh to obtaining housing, employment, school enrollment, access health services and basic needs, and a network of support. This new initiative is in line with our current effort to develop community-based refugee and immigrant support and deepen neighbor-to-neighbor connections across Pittsburgh.

Since Hello Neighbor was founded in 2017, we have focused 100% of our efforts on refugees and immigrants that have been in Pittsburgh between 6 months to 5 years. This resettlement opportunity means that we will begin supporting refugees on day one when they first arrive in Pittsburgh.

Over the next 12 months we hope to resettle:

  • 100 refugees: Countries of origin will likely include Bhutan, Myanmar, Syria, and Democratic Republic of the Congo amongst other countries
  • 50 SIVs: These Special Immigrant Visa holders are all Afghans, a population and culture Hello Neighbor has welcomed and supported since their founding in 2017
  • 100 Afghan Humanitarian Parolees: Many of which are currently located on army bases across the country or trying to be extracted from Afghanistan

The initial idea for Hello Neighbor was one that I had been thinking about for a long time. When it all started to come together, I was working at the resettlement agency in Pittsburgh that held this contract. The people there were the kindest, hardest working people I had ever met. Because of the Trump Administration and other factors, the contract ended in 2018, leaving Pittsburgh with only two resettlement agencies.

In the process of applying for this contract the support has been overwhelming. We would not be making this announcement today if not for the support of our elected city and county officials and their staffs, other community-based organizations, Pittsburgh’s additional two resettlement agencies and others who provided letters of support and camaraderie along the way. We truly are stronger together. Thank you!

The responsibility of resettling new arrivals - our newest neighbors - to our great city and into our communities is one that we will take on with the same heart, compassion, dignity and respect that we bring to all of our programs.

In addition to resettlement, Hello Neighbor will continue to support refugees and immigrants long after the initial 90 day period through our Family Services programs (Mentorship, Smart Start, Study Buddy) or our national coalition, the Hello Neighbor Network.

While Hello Neighbor continues to grow, we know who we are and what makes us different, and to be honest with you I have the best team in the entire city. I’m so proud of the work we do every day. This is truly just the beginning.

To be clear, this won’t be easy. We are hiring to fill out this new department, will be organizing volunteer and community support teams in a way we never have before, we will be asking for in-kind donations we’ve never asked for before and we’ll be asking for financial support.

Will you join our efforts?

We have only come this far with your support. I invite you to donate, sign up to volunteer, or share ideas below

Join Us

Tremendously Grateful,

Sloane Davidson
Founder & CEO
Hello Neighbor

  • announcement
  • pittsburgh
  • partnership

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