Kentucky Refugee Ministries
The C0-Sponsor Team is a rewarding and exciting way that Highland serves. Each year many refugee families arrive in Louisville. In their first few months, these families need support setting up a home, finding their way around the city, and learning how to thrive in a new and unfamiliar country. Our team serves the family by assisting in setting up and apartments, completing necessary appointments required for their settlement, and learning the customs so they can be self-sufficient. If you have questions, contact Matt Nickel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 502-451-2910 x223
Join the Team & Sign-Up Online
Fill out this form to let us know how and when you can participate.
The Team Makes a Difference for a Family
As guides, co-sponsors work to:
- Supply initial food and clothing to refugees and arrange for housing
- Introduce refugees to U.S. culture and encourage them to gain access to community services like health care
- Assist refugees with applications for jobs, Social Security cards, school registration, and enrollment in English classes
As advocates, co-sponsors work to:
- Ensure that the refugee family is not exploited, discriminated against, or taken advantage of in the work place or in their personal lives
- Ensure that their religious beliefs are honored without intention of conversion
As friends, co-sponsors work to:
- Welcome refugees into their new communities, and offer support and encouragement as they leave behind their homelands and adjust to life in the U.S.
- Learn about and honor their cultural background, and share your heritage in return
Less than 1% of refugees in the world ever have the opportunity to resettle; your community could make all the difference, offering compassion and hospitality to families in need.
This page is offered as a description of the full responsibilities of Sponsor (KRM) and Co-Sponsor (Highland Presbyterian Church). These responsibilities are divided among many people, not a few. It is a rewarding project that happens because our community comes together to serve. If the refugees being sponsored already have relatives in the area, many of the responsibilities will be shared with them. As you read the items below think in terms of Team Responsibilities.
Developing a Team
- Work in cooperation with Kentucky Refugee Ministries (the Sponsor)
- Receive orientation from Kentucky Refugee Ministries.
- Sign the Commitment for Sponsorship form.
- Prepare a resettlement plan in cooperation with Kentucky Refugee Ministries.
Welcoming the Family
- Meet and welcome the arriving refugees at the Airport (Team Members and KRM Staff)
- Take the arriving refugees to their housing.
- Serve as one of the Team to visit the Family daily for the first five days and weekly as needed for the first three months. You can volunteer to make one or more visits.
- Transport the Family to KRM the morning after arrival and for a few days, until they have been taught the bus schedule and route.
Preparing for Arrival
- Collect home furnishings for our new family
- Sort and organize collected smaller furnishings in preparation of setting-up apartment.
- Join others to set-up apartment several days prior to arriving refugees. (Usually done by lots of Team Members. Loads of fun!).
- Shop for appropriate groceries (list supplied) and stock them in the apartment of the new Family, immediately prior to arrival. Expenses covered in budget.
- Prepare a meal ready for the family as they arrive from the airport. (Food ideas provided)
Help a Family Settle into Louisville.
- Take the Family to the grocery store within the first few days.
- Take Family to apply for their Food Stamps. (KRM makes all arrangements.)
- Provide necessary clothing as needed and in co-operation with KRM. This may require taking Family members to Goodwill, etc. to purchase certain articles of clothing.
Provide Orientation to Louisville
- Help refugees learn English by various small actions including our conversations with them, labels applied to household items, furnishing books to children, and other means as may occur. Do not fear this task. All Refugees are enrolled in ESL classes.
- A note on transportation: Depending on circumstances there are many transportation requests. These can be some of richest opportunities for shared learning, providing orientation to the new community and society.
- Provide emergency support when needed.
- Be a neighbor and advocate for the refugees.
Urge the refugees
- to repay their travel loans-in tiny payments if that is all they can afford to begin with.
- to apply for permanent resident status after one year
- and citizenship after 5 years (both processes can be handled by Kentucky Refugee Ministries’ staff).
For more details, contact Rev. Matt Nickel at email@example.com.