South Park – North Park – Golden Hill

an ecumenical catholic ministry

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Build a Refugee Support Network Around a Faith-Based "Welcome Circle"

Build a Refugee Support Network Around
a Faith-Based "Welcome Circle"
Dr. Paul Johnston, Ph. D., is a retired professor at the University of California Santa Cruz. He has volunteered to help Safe Harbors Network establish a model for faith-based refugee support networks that we now call "Welcome Circles".

Take a few moments to read his observations based upon his work in both Southern California and the Bay Area.
(Santa Cruz, CA) Based on over a decade of experience, Safe Harbors Network offers the “Welcome Circle” model for anyone who wants to help these vulnerable immigrants on their journey to a safe and better life. Such Circles and connected networks are particularly suited for longer-term support of refugees in interior communities.

In this model, congregation members and others open their homes to families of asylum seekers. They rely on the help of a network of volunteers and community organizations organized through a support center located, ideally, at a local congregation or organization. The network engages with local social service and refugee resettlement agencies as essential partners in moving families toward self-sufficiency and community membership

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