How to Help Resettle Refugees in Your Community
“Helping a refugee family really become a part of the fabric of your town and your society allows them to make the most positive impacts,” says Chris Temple, documentary filmmaker and founder of Living on One.
From hosting a family in your home to volunteering, to simply being a friend, here are several ways you can help refugees as they resettle.
1. Volunteer with a resettlement agency. Volunteering with a resettlement agency is one direct way to help with resettlement. Duvin says that “Volunteers can do everything from helping to teach English, to providing mentorship, all the way to helping them by teaching yoga classes for stress relief.”
2. Host refugees in your own home. In some cases, you may even be able to temporarily host refugees in your own home. One way to get connected with refugees or evacuees in need of temporary housing is through AirBnB. You can check out how to list your home through the company’s Open Homes program here.
3. Hire refugees. Helping refugee women empower themselves economically is another huge way to help, according to Duvin. She says that women with job opportunities should consider hiring refugee women and provide them with mentorship at work.
4. Mentor. Mentoring, in general, is really useful for refugees. Refugees are learning an entirely new culture while also dealing with the immense stress of needing to flee a conflict. Having a mentor available to help out with everything from navigating public transportation to making doctor’s appointments can be a big help.
5. Befriend refugees in your community. Similarly, you can also simply be a friend to refugees. Look into programs such as Hello Neighbor, which helps match community residents with new refugees.
6. Stand up for refugees. Finally, Duvin says it’s important to stand up for refugee families. “Resettlement is only offered to a small number of people, so it’s really important for people to understand that these are families who are fleeing violence and persecution,” Duvin tells us. “It’s important that we continue our country’s long history of welcoming refugees.”