Share the Journey Parish Sponsorship for Refugees

Share the Journey Parish Sponsorship for Refugees

The Share the Journey Parish Sponsorship program is an initiative that was created in recognition of the need to supplement the limited funding provided to Resettlement Agencies and the strong support for refugee issues from Diocesan leadership to mobilize a diocese of 100 parishes. The program aims to engage local churches and faith-based groups on a grass roots level by Conducting in-house and off-site presentation events The Community Engagement Specialist, in conjunction with the Director of Refugee Services, are hosting 3 in-house tours and presentations this year for parishes and faith-based groups. The groups will tour our office and witness the work we do, as well as listen to a presentation that provides a comprehensive understanding of the refugee journey before, during, and after the official 90 day resettlement period. The presentation ends with ways in which faith-based communities can tangibly help refugee families stabilize and integrate into US society. Presentations are also offered off-site at any parishes or faith-based groups unable to attend, but who are interested in supporting our work. 
Offering special projects for educational institutions, The Diocese of San Diego maintains a Catholic presence in 56 educational institutions in San Diego. Calling school representatives and encouraging participation in special projects, such as donation drives, will open opportunities for youth to play an integral role in helping refugees resettle in the US.


Administering Organization:
Catholic Charities, Diocese of San Diego

Program Objectives:
The Share the Journey Parish Sponsorship Program was established to strengthen the partnership between Catholic Charities and Diocese of San Diego by mobilizing churches and faith-based groups to support refugee families during the challenging adjustment and resettlement process in a new country. With this program, inherent challenges to the resettling of refugees, such as finding affordable housing, securing employment, and supporting elderly and minor refugees are tackled with the help of additional resources and human capacity that local churches and faith-based groups are able to provide.

Resource Materials:
USCCB MRS POWR Website  USCCB's Migration & Refugee Services' Parish Refugee Resettlement Ministry Manual POWR Post E-Newsletters are especially useful to gain inspiration from what refugee resettlement agencies and parishes are doing throughout the United States.   The Right to Thrive video

Groups Served by Program:
Those who will benefit the most from this program are newly arrived refugee individuals and families.

Program Funding:
Funding comes from a combination of sources including USCCB's Parishes Organized to Welcome Refugees (POWR) grant and the Wilson/Fish program. 

Program Staffing and Training:
Combining the objectives of the 2-year Share the Journey campaign with Catholic Charities of San Diego's agency-wide strategic plan to mobilize and build partnerships with the faith-based community, the Community Engagement Specialist position was created in June 2017 as an attempt to actively engage the faith-based communities on a grass roots level. It is helpful to have a staff member designated for this cause, who is knowledgeable of the resettlement process and the Catholic Church's organizational structure.  

Program Evaluation:
The Share the Journey Sponsorship Program is designed to produce three outcomes to allow our office to address both the short, and the long-term needs of clients and creates a holistic approach for faith-based groups to engage and help address challenges of the resettlement journey.  Full sponsorships: Full sponsors commit to assist a refugee family with housing opportunities, job prospects, support services to children and elderly refugees for 1 year and/or until the family achieves self-sufficiency.  Partial sponsorships: Partial Sponsors choose to assist refugees by providing 1 or 2 of the following aspects for 1 year and/or until families are self-sufficient: housing assistance, employment opportunities, volunteer hours to support minor and elderly refugee populations.  Specified sponsorships: Specified sponsors are Catholic School youth and young adults in the community engaged in special projects, such as hosting donation drives to collect necessary basic items that strain refugees' limited financial resources, including hygiene items, cleaning supplies, diapers and other items.  

Program Outcomes:
Statistical goals of the outcomes mentioned above are as follows:  5 full sponsorships to benefit 5 families. Assuming that each family consists of 4 people, the total number of individuals benefiting from full sponsorships are 20 individuals  5 partial sponsorships. Assuming that each family consists of 4 people, the total number of individuals benefiting from partial sponsorships are 20 individuals  6 specified sponsorships. We anticipate that these 6 Specified Sponsorships will benefit 50% of our total arrival numbers, totaling 190 individuals, or about 50 families. In total, the Share the Journey Sponsorship program will benefit 59% of our total projected arrivals for FY18 

Program Contact:
Victoria Hoang 619-287-9454 ext. 2116

Program Dates:
The program began in June 2017 and is still operating as of March 2018. 

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