September 2020 Update
Newton-Brookline Asylum Resettlement Coalition (NBARC) began resettling asylum seekers in March 2017 as a cluster of Refugee Immigration Ministry, an interfaith organization whose goals are to provide support to asylum seekers and to build bridges among communities of different faiths.
Over the past three years, many volunteers from our six congregations (https://www.nb-arc.com/who-we-are) have been assisting individuals and families who are fleeing persecution due to their race, religion, nationality, social group, or political opinion. Individuals and families have come from countries all over the world, including from Ethiopia, Cameroon, Uganda, Kenya, Columbia, Honduras, and from a refugee camp in Syria. Four of these families have already moved from homeless dependency to complete self-sufficiency. We just received news that one of these clients has been recognized for her French language skills and hired as an assistant teacher in a suburban school system! Another client who found employment in the high-tech industry has repaid us for the down payment we subsidized when his family was finally able to move to a rental apartment of their own. These success stories are a tribute to the contribution of time, resources, and financial support from the NBARC interfaith community. At the present time, NBARC volunteers are hosting two individuals who have received their work authorizations, have jobs, and are saving up to move out on their own.
NBARC is currently looking to develop relationships with other organizations that provide services to people who are seeking asylum. The most urgent need is for housing. While finding additional host homes is a particular challenge now because of COVID, we are very grateful to those who have been able to house clients during this time and hope to be able to find more available homes for people. Meanwhile, there is much to do and other needs to address such as clothing, access to food pantries, community resources, job training, ESL tutoring, and friendly support for our current and future clients. Most recently we began helping a young high school student from Central America, stabilizing her living situation with extended family and helping her set up internet access so she can participate in remote learning with her class. She now has an NBARC team of volunteers to help address other needs as they come up.
Our goal is to provide support for as many people seeking asylum as possible during these extremely challenging times. 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
We welcome your interest and your support.