What is Community Co‑Sponsorship FAQs?

Community Co-Sponsors smiling and laughing together on stairway at the entrance of a home

After much anticipation, Hello Neighbor’s Community Co-Sponsorship Program is HERE! This opportunity is unique in that your team will get to welcome families from day one in Pittsburgh. As a part of our pilot program, you will work closely with the Community Co-Sponsorship Coordinator and the entire Resettlement Team to build the foundation for our newest program. While there is data to support the fact that Community Co-Sponsorship aids greatly with the integration of families into their new homes, we are dedicated to creating a model that is specific to the Pittsburgh region.

Interested in applying? Hello Neighbor holds Volunteer Information sessions several times a month with both in-person and virtual sessions Please visit our Get Involved page to sign up. For more information you can also contact kayleigh@helloneighbor.io to be connected to a member of our Resettlement Team for support.

What is Community Co-Sponsorship?

A volunteer community group that supports a resettlement agency in welcoming and supporting a refugee family. This group provides social and community support that goes beyond the standard requirements of a resettlement agency.

Who can be a Community Co-Sponsorship Team?

Any group of at least five people! Interfaith & Faith groups, local clubs & businesses, community & civic associations, or even just a group of friends - anyone can be a co-sponsor.

How many people do you need to create a Community Co-Sponsorship Team?

No fewer than 5 and no greater than 15. More people means more coordination across schedules. However, this also means more people to support fundraising and allocation of tasks.

Who are the families that Community Co-Sponsorship Teams will assist?

Newly resettled refugee families.

What countries are families from?

Our families come from around the world! We are currently seeing families arrive from Afghanistan, the DRC, Syria, the Sudan, and more.

Can minors be involved?

Absolutely! We love to see young volunteers. While they may not be taking on a leadership role they can attend and participate in welcome activities, help with English, and become friends with the children in the families, among other things.

What is the time commitment?

6-12 months. The resettlement period alone lasts 3 months. We really want to ensure that our new neighbors have a network of support to help them with a greater variety of activities than we, as the resettlement agency, can support.

What if I don’t live in Pittsburgh?

A large part of welcoming new neighbors is a strong familiarity with the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County and the ability to both support and spend time with the family. While living outside of the city doesn’t exclude you from participating, you would need a group of individuals in the city to do much of the in-person work. While this may not be the program area if you live outside of Allegheny County, Hello Neighbor is happy to connect you with another area of our work that is better suited for your situation. Joining a volunteer information session is a great start to finding the right fit!

What is the cost of participating in the program?

There is a $3,000 program fee for each Community Co-Sponsor Team. At least 50% is required up front in order to secure and furnish permanent housing. There has to be a dedicated plan and timeline for the second half of the funding. These funds are used to support the program’s participants and Hello Neighbor’s mission to improve the lives of recently resettled refugee and immigrant families by matching them with dedicated neighbors to guide and support them in their new lives.

What kind of support can I expect from Hello Neighbor?

Hello Neighbor will be there with you for every step of your Co-Sponsorship journey. The program begins with an in-person orientation training, and an in-home introduction facilitated by program staff. We have regular check-ins throughout the cohort, and are available to answer questions, offer support, and lend a listening ear. We utilize interpretation services to address serious concerns with mentee families when they arise, and make referrals to a variety of social service programs in the area.

Can I request to be paired with a family of a particular background or language?

We make matches based on a variety of factors - namely family size and composition, housing placement and CS team strengths. If a CS team member spoke a particular language spoken by our families, we could take that into consideration.

APPLY TO BE A COMMUNITY CO-SPONSOR

Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis. Co-Sponsorship Teams have fundraising and training goals that have to be achieved prior to being matched with a family!

For questions, contact our Community Co-Sponsorship Coordinator, Lexie Garcia, lexie@helloneighbor.io.