Register for MCC’s July 26th webinar: Creative Housing Solutions for Refugees & Asylum Seekers

When refugees and asylum seekers first arrive in the United States, the first thing they need is a safe place to call home. Unfortunately, the ongoing affordable housing crisis has greatly impacted newcomer families’ ability to lay down roots. Join MCC on Tuesday, July 26 at 2 PM EDT to learn about different ways the faith community has partnered with refugees, asylum seekers, and the organizations that serve them to offer creative housing solutions.   

Also Check out the following resources:

During this webinar, we learned about the asylum seeking process as well as opportunities for faith communities to accompany asylum seekers as they seek refuge in the United States. Kat Smith, MCC West Coast Border and Migration Outreach Coordinator, shared an overview of the asylum seeking process, current policies that greatly impact asylum seekers’ ability to find refuge, and the work of Casa Mariposa Detention Visitation Center.  Rev. Chris McNabb from Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Neighbor to Neighbor program and Jess Sapalio from Unitarian Universalist Service Committee’s Congregational Accompaniment for Asylum Seekers Project (CAPAS) jointly shared about how faith communities can walk alongside asylum seekers through sponsorship, the steps to sponsorship, and the opportunities and challenges that asylum seeker sponsorship provides congregations. As Rev. McNabb shared with us, welcoming asylum seekers often calls us to willingly walk into uncertainty and “stumble forward with an open heart” ultimately asking us to put our faith into action on a daily basis!

  • Opportunities & Resources to Learn and Discern Next Steps:

-You can learn more about UUSC’s Congregational Accompaniment for Asylum Seekers (CAPAS) project here.

-In addition, CAPAS offers a free handbook for anyone interested in learning more about what asylum seeker sponsorship involves. You can access it here and indicate your interest in connecting with CAPAS here. The CAPAS project offers multiple ways to get involved including being a host congregation, funding partner congregation, solidarity supporter, and immigrant justice advocates.

-You can learn more about Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Neighbor to Neighbor program here.

Casa Mariposa Detention Visitation Center provides support, friendship and encouragement to immigrants in detention in Arizona to break the cycle of isolation. Here are some ways you and your community can partner with them:

  • Host a letter writing party: Thank you for your interest in hosting a Card Party! Your efforts may help those in detention feel that they have not been forgotten. You are also now part of a nationwide network of folks committed to showing our immigrant sisters and brothers that they are KNOWN, LOVED and SUPPORTED. They need to hear this now more than ever! -Want to get started? Email us to learn how to get involved. Email: cmvisitation@gmail.com 
  • Bookstore donations: Books allow for people to escape their reality while learning new tools or languages and can offer a sense of comfort and hope. 
  •  Send us a virtual gift card here by using our email address (cmvisitation@gmail.com): https://bookshop.org/gift_cards
  • Financial donations to Casa Mariposa: https://donorbox.org/cmvisitation
  • All donations will go directly to individuals detained in Arizona
  • Phone Calls
  • Commissary
  • Bond Support
  • Post Detention release
  • Cell phones/ transportation/ cell phone/ new clothes

-If you and your congregation would like to set aside a Sunday to advocate for migrants, particularly those who are seeking safe refuge in the United States, I encourage you to check out MCC’s Safe Home, Safe Refuge Worship Resource Guide and website (www.mcc.org/safe-refuge). You can access the worship resource guide here and check out MCC’s short video about migration and the call to welcome the stranger here.

-If your community would benefit from some inspiration, I highly recommend checking out this recent article from Anabaptist World: “Doors open for immigrants”