"Refugees thrive when their communities welcome them and are involved in their integration."
The Sponsor Circle Program was created to expand the capacity to welcome in the United States. A certified Sponsor Circle consists of a group of at least five individuals coming together to form a plan to welcome newcomers into their own community. Sponsor Circles are responsible for raising funds to support newcomers through the initial welcome period as well as assisting their integration into the community: connecting to resources for things such as housing, benefits, employment, schools, etc.
REACT DC serves as one of six Sponsor Circle Umbrella organizations, responsible for ensuring that Sponsor Circles meet all program requirements and guiding Circles through the processes involved in carrying out core resettlement responsibilities. Since joining as a Sponsor Circle Umbrella in January 2022, REACT DC has served a total of 53 Sponsor Circles. Through Sponsor Circle Program for Afghans, REACT DC has welcomed 152 individuals across 20 states and the District of Columba.
In the spring of 2022, Sponsor Circles expanded to include the Uniting for Ukraine program, an entry program that allows people fleeing the war in Ukraine to seek refuge in the United States on a temporary basis known as humanitarian parole, with the support of a sponsor in the United States. The sponsor provides financial support to meet the basic needs of someone fleeing Ukraine. They may also provide additional support, such as assistance enrolling in educational or training programs or securing employment. Sponsors can be U.S. citizens, permanent residents or other lawfully present individuals. This includes individuals on Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and refugees. Groups of sponsors, nonprofits, educational institutions, and employers can also help sponsor people fleeing Ukraine. REACT DC currently has 6 Sponsor Circles, with ongoing efforts to recruit and hand-match circles to Ukrainians in need.
REACTsponsors alongside REACT DC will:
-learn about the Uniting for Ukraine (U4U) program
-receive step-by-step guidance during the application process
-connect and build community with other REACTsponsors
-learn how to support by a personal connection or via connection through various platforms
-work with the newcomer to complete USCIS I-134
-coordinate travel for newcomer
-provide assistance with I-175 (employment authorization application) and benefits
-set up initial medical screenings and continued care as needed
-find ESL classes
-enroll school-aged children
-assist with employment search
-provide community orientation
-support newcomers as needed and appropriate to individual needs
-receive additional support after being matched and throughout the sponsorship experience with the guidance of the REACTsponsors team
Are you interested in joining the Welcome Movement and becoming a sponsor?