A Community of Dedicated Neighbors
The core of Hello Neighbor is a mentorship program where we match recently resettled refugee and immigrant families (our mentees) with local mentors. Mentor and mentee matches decide what they want to do together, with activities ranging from playing at the local park, to attending Hello Neighbor events, to helping mentee families read mail and teaching them to write a check.
Mentors are strategically matched with the refugee and immigrant families based on a variety of factors including geographic proximity, family composition, availability, and interest areas. The initial time commitment is a minimum of 10 hours per month for eight months, but many of the relationships created in our program remain active after the initial time commitment and develop into lifelong friendships.
Primary Expectations of Hello Neighbor’s Mentorship Program
- Commit to an initial eight-month matching period
- Spend 10 hours per month with your mentee
- Communicate with Hello Neighbor
- Attend Hello Neighbor events
- Be a friend
- Advocate for Hello Neighbor
During the program, mentors receive mandatory orientation training to understand refugee and immigrant issues as well as a workbook that guides you through the mentoring program and gives you the tools and resources necessary to succeed with your match family. This includes the history of refugee resettlement, a training about English language learners, and mentoring best practices. New mentors are also matched with a previous Hello Neighbor mentor who they can turn to with questions, in addition to a dedicated staff member to offer ongoing support.
In addition to training, we host Hello Neighbor events for our match families so everyone can interact with each other and explore Pittsburgh together.
Our Refugee and Immigrant Families
Our refugee and immigrant families have come from 18 different countries, including: Myanmar, Bhutan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Morocco, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Sudan, South Sudan, Algeria, Ivory Coast, and Somalia.
Of these families, 98% have children under the age of 18 in the home, and most have been in the US between six months and five years. Since we began in 2017, Hello Neighbor has matched 136 families through our mentorship program.
By spending just a few hours a couple times a month you can meet your new neighbors, help them achieve success in their new lives, and transform Pittsburgh into a more welcoming city for all.
Are you ready to get started?
If you are interested in becoming a mentor, we ask that you attend an information session to learn more about the program before being invited to apply.
Please register for one of our virtual or in-person information sessions below!
Visit our Family Services FAQs and Mentorship FAQs pages to explore the answers to frequently asked questions about Family Mentorship and other Hello Neighbor programs.
“This is what will change us as Americans, and change us as Pittsburghers.” - Mentor Testimonial
“So much of participating in Hello Neighbor is trusting the process, that by overcoming communication and cultural challenges, a real friendship awaits on the other side. That was true for our relationship!” - Mentor Testimonial
Nominate A Refugee Family
Do you know a refugee family who might be a good fit for the Family Mentorship program? Read the requirements and learn how you can nominate a refugee family here.