WHY: World Relief seeks to equip churches to think biblically about refugee resettlement and to extend Christ-like hospitality. Roughly 10 percent of immigrants that come to the U.S. are refugees fleeing ethnic, religious, and political persecution. These immigrants have gathered what belongings they could carry and escaped to another country, sometimes living in camps for over 10 years, waiting to go home. Some refugees are invited by the U.S. government to make another life-changing move: to rebuild their lives in the U.S. World Relief High Point works with local church and community partners to resettle these new arrivals, assisting them as they learn a new language, adjust to a new culture, and pursue employment, education, and other opportunities in our community.
From Pre-Arrival through Community Development: The Resettlement Process (Learn More).
Pre-arrival: Before a new family or individual arrives, World Relief is already working to anticipate major health needs, locate housing, and start building community support for the new family. When refugees step off the plane, we want people at the airport to greet them, letting them know from the very beginning that they valued and loved members of this community.
After Arrival: World Relief receives funding from the State Department to assist each new refugee for 90 days. During this time, we help refugees apply for social security cards, register for temporary social service benefits (Medicaid, Food Stamps, Cash Assistance), enroll in school and ESL programs, learn about working in the U.S., and connect them to churches and community groups that will encourage and befriend them. Within this broad program of refugee resettlement, World Relief High Point has a few specific initiatives.
Matching Grant: World Relief High Point participates in a federally funded “matching grant” program. This program offers additional financial support as long as the local community members provide a matching amount of support.
Striving towards Self-Sufficiency: Refugees come from various backgrounds; some are highly educated doctors fluent in English while others have lived in remote jungles and received no formal education. For the latter, adjusting to life in High Point has some major challenges, like learning to use public transportation or learning how to balance a checkbook. World Relief High Point focuses on areas of adjustment in order to achieve healthy integration: employment, financial literacy, home cleanliness and safety, transportation, and health services.
Community Development: Moving beyond "self-sufficiency", World Relief fosters community development in refugee communities. Refugees who are self-sufficient are able to assist new arrivals as they adjust. Being self-sufficient is earning more than enough income to exceed expenses and also includes being accustomed to a new culture. Due to language barriers, interpreters become key community members who help us partner with the refugee communities in developing structures to identify, articulate, and respond to their own needs.