Refugee Resettlement

NFR’s primary focus has been on refugee resettlement, using a co-sponsorship model in cooperation with U.S. State Department approved resettlement agencies as HIAS and Catholic Charities in New York and Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services (IRIS) in Connecticut. Our model is designed to get the new family acclimated to their new home and on the road to self-sufficiency.

 

Our support starts before the family arrives by finding and furnishing an appropriately sized apartment. During the next 12 months, we provide financial assistance to pay rent and living expenses. We also provide transportation to doctor’s visits and other appointments, help family members find employment and learn their way around town, provide ESL lessons and much, much more. While our financial support usually stops at the end of 12 months, these latter services may extend another 12 months or more.

 

In addition to our direct resettlement efforts, we also work with other groups to collect winter clothing and other essentials needed by refugees.

What We Do

 

Year 2 Fund

 

The Year 2 (Y2) Fund is dedicated to helping refugees and other immigrants who have exhausted the resources available from other groups or agencies. The goal of the Y2 Fund is to enable our applicants to continue to move forward and build a better life for themselves and their families - in their year two and beyond. NFR is allocating funding, generously donated by members and supporters of NFR, to families and applicable individuals with refugee or another immigration status, such as asylees.

 

The Y2 Fund provides grants averaging about $500.00, the amount varying with the need. Some examples of the types of things we support:

Household and family needs including new baby supplies, child safety equipment, winter clothing, etc. 

Job training and instruction of English language

Investments for a business venture 

Transportation (e.g., to and from work or driving lessons) 

Employment requirements (e.g., application fees, skills training, tools, uniforms)

Educational expenses including school supplies or special courses

Technology needs such as computers and phones

Unanticipated legal costs

Short term emergency rent, utilities, and similar expenses 

Emergency medical bills

Relocation costs when a family decides on a more suitable or affordable location

Y2 grants are awarded for the specific needs of a known family or individual, as recommended by an agency, resettlement group, caseworker, etc. We don’t accept applications directly from families or individuals without such recommendation and oversight. At this time we regularly accept recommendations from partnering agencies such as HIAS, Catholic Charities, IRIS, and Welcome Home New Jersey. 

 

If you are a group interested in applying because you oversee, work with or know of a family or individual in need, without other support, please contact Ruth Gyure at gyurer@gmail.com to receive an application form. 

 

Business Incubator Program

One of the biggest challenges to self-sufficiency is employment that allows a family to afford to live in Westchester County (or elsewhere). In response, NFR launched its Business Incubator Program, which works with refugees who want to start their own businesses. Our program provides mentoring and support creating a viable business plan and helps them find funding to build their businesses.

 

For more information email: businessincubator@neighborsforrefugees.com

Advocacy & Education

 

We try to fulfill that part of our mission to advocate for refugees and other new Americans by influencing legislation and other government actions at the local, state, and federal levels that impacts the number of people allowed to come into the U.S. or their benefits and rights once they are here. Our advocacy work includes meeting with or writing to our representatives in the U.S. House and Senate, state and county governments regarding issues affecting refugees.

 

NFR has teamed up with a local bookstore to launch its “Third Thursdays @ 3” program, during which time people can stop by and write postcards to their representative expressing their opinions on varying issues. Recent issues include: opposition to the “Back to Mexico” program and the Secure and Protect Act (S.1494), and support for the GRACE ACT (Guaranteed Refugee Admissions Ceiling Enhancement Act, HR2146/S1088) and the No Ban Act. HR 2214.

In addition to advocacy, NFR believes there are a lot of misconceptions out there about refugees and asylees. Since its founding, NFR sought to educate people about refugee issues and what they have to go through to be permitted to enter the U.S. For example, we sponsored a reporter from the NY Times to speak locally about her year-long assignment covering refugee resettlement in Canada. We also put on “In Her Words,” a play based on interviews of refugee women.

Third Thursdays Neighbors For Refugees

Students For Refugees

NFR also supports the Students For Refugees group at Mamaroneck High School. This group volunteers at NFR's community events, tutors and babysits refugee children, plans outings for the families, and holds fundraisers to both support refugees and raise awareness about their plight. They also hold postcard writing sessions to communicate important messaging to local legislators, U.S. State Senators, and congressmen.

Address: PO Box 416, Larchmont, NY 10538

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Third Thursdays at Three