September 2019 Update
Newton-Brookline Asylum Resettlement Committee (NBARC) began resettling asylum seekers in March 2017 as the Newton-Brookline cluster of Refugee Immigration Ministry (www.r-i-m.net), an interfaith organization whose goals are to provide support to asylum seekers and to build bridges among communities of different faiths.
NBARC actively continues to support asylum seekers. For the past two years, many volunteers from our six congregations have been assisting individuals and families who are fleeing persecution in other countries due to their race, religion, nationality, social group, or political opinion.
Over the past year we have supported seven family groups from seven different countries. Of those seven, four have moved from homeless dependency to complete self-sufficiency.
- Most recently, the young Yazidi family whose toddler was severely burned in a Syrian refugee campfire, has moved on. They were housed for more than a year in host family’s home while the child received treatment at Shriners for his burns. Now they are renting an apartment in a close-knit Yazidi community in Lincoln, Nebraska. The father has a driver’s license, he is finding employment, and the family’s spirits are high.
- The single mother from Cameroon and her three-year-old are now living independently in the Burlington area.
- The young woman from Ecuador, mother of two children, one of whom was born under NBARC’s watch, has joined her husband in Haiti.
- The Ethiopian family of four is now living independently in Malden where the two young boys are in school and the father is employed in a software company in Burlington.
These four success stories are a tribute to the contribution of time, resources, and financial support from the NBARC interfaith community. Many thanks for all that you have done so far.
There is more to be done. The numbers of asylum seekers have grown in recent months, and the difficulties they face have grown as well.
Currently NBARC is supporting three more families in host homes in Newton.
- We have a young single mother from Kenya who has been receiving job training through Jewish Vocational Services. She obtained her work authorization and is now seeking employment while her daughter is in preschool.
- Another young woman from Uganda is also living with a host family, also has her work authorization, and is working to obtain enough money for her own apartment.
- Our third client is a young woman from Colombia who has connected with our congregations over the past summer. She is also housed in Newton and hopes to continue her education toward a degree in psychology if and when her asylum status is approved.
NBARC’s goal is to provide support for as many asylum seeking families as possible. Our most urgent need is for host housing. Once we have established a place for a family or single person to live, then we can determine what other needs must be met: clothing, access to food pantries, community resources, job training, ELL tutoring, and friendly support.
If you know of anyone who would be interested in sharing extra space in their home (in-law apartment, basement or third floor accommodations), then please contact an NBARC Steering Committee representative, here: https://www.nb-arc.com/who-we-are. Helpful information about becoming a host family can also be found here: https://www.nb-arc.com/housing
Thank you for your interest!