NBARC secures housing for our clients and provides necessary furniture, appliances, bedding, and other home furnishings needed to make our clients comfortable.
We seek low-rental apartments for families and raise donations from our congregations to pay the rent. We also seek host homes for some of our clients.
Curious about temporarily hosting an asylum seeker in your home? Please read on to learn more.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How long a time commitment do I need to make?
We ask hosts to commit to housing a client for a 6-month period. Sometimes less time is required, sometimes more. It depends on the client's individual situation, which you will learn about before you decide. Of course, you always have the right to withdraw early.
What happens after that 6 months?
In some cases, our client will receive work authorization, find employment, and become self-supporting. They may find their own housing at that point, or we will help them find affordable housing. In other cases, they will continue to need housing from us, and we will find them another home. Of course, you may choose to continue offering housing beyond 6 months, but there is no expectation that you do so.
What type of client might I house?
In general, clients can range from single adults to mother/child pairs to large families. They often come from Africa, Central America, or the Middle East. All of them have been through difficulties and all are seeking a new life in the US. All have been medically cleared, have an immigration lawyer, and have a legitimate asylum case.
How much space do I need to have available?
There is no one answer to this. It depends on what will make both you and the client feel comfortable. A separate “in-law” apartment would be great, but is not necessary. The client(s) should have their own bedroom(s) and preferably their own bathroom.
Do I need to cook for the client?
Assuming you do not have a separate kitchen for the client, you will need to share your kitchen. However, this can take different forms, ranging from keeping the client’s food completely separate to cooking / eating meals together. You will set the rules on kitchen use (e.g., “only kosher food in this kitchen”; “please don’t use the fine china”; “I need to have the kitchen to myself this Thursday from 6 to 8”), but make sure that the client can meet their needs as well.
Is there support to help me with this big responsibility?
Yes! Our expectation is that you provide housing in a friendly, welcoming environment, but nothing more than that, although we welcome your greater involvement with the client’s life if you so choose. NBARC will provide a point person who is responsible for your client, along with volunteers to provide acculturation, babysitting, transportation, etc. The cluster will also cover the cost of food for the client.
What are the advantages of doing this?
Hosting an asylum seeker can be an extremely rewarding experience. You will learn about another culture and form a bond with a brave, interesting person. And, you will be doing a really important good deed!
What happens if something goes wrong?
We recognize that conflicts of various kinds can arise in these types of living situations. At any point, you can request support from us to help clarify rules, address conflicts, etc. If at any point you feel uncomfortable with continuing the arrangement, we will remove the client.
Can I use a client to house-sit or to clean my house?
Generally speaking, the client should not be expected to do any work for you in exchange for housing. On the other hand, the client is expected to take on the normal responsibilities of living in a household (e.g., washing the dishes, keeping their own space clean).
Can I meet the client before committing?
Yes! In fact, you have to.
I am interested in finding out more. What happens next?
Please contact Elkan Gamzu and let him know of your interest. He will visit you to take a look at your space and discuss the situation, including what type of asylum seekers are appropriate for you to host. If you choose to move forward, we will ask for a personal reference and ask you to provide a background check form (CORI). When we take on a client appropriate for your home, you may choose to meet him or her in a neutral space, along with members of NBARC and the "point person" for this client. The next step is to invite the client and his or her "point person" to visit you in your home to meet you, see the space, and discuss house rules. If you still want to move forward, you and the client will sign an agreement and the client will move in!