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Convene, Educate, Gather Support and Advocate for Refugees

During this time of fierce debate about immigration policy, refugee bans and subsequent legal action, the US resettlement program is being dismantled and is currently on pace to welcome the fewest refugees in its history. Our doors are closed to those needing refuge.  The challenge before us now is to keep alive the grassroots energy, to outlast these bans and policies which are counter to every American value. We believe that building on the strong coalition of Westchester County communities and 2,000+ volunteers and staying engaged in education, awareness building, advocacy and refugee support is an answer to that challenge.

Westchester Refugee Initiative

What is the Westchester Refugee Initiative?

Westchester Refugee Initiative is Hearts and Homes For Refugees’ response to two key events since 2016: The groundswell of grassroots support for welcoming refugees to Westchester County and the slowdown in resettlement due to the bans and legislation designed to dismantle the U.S. refugee program.

In spite of the bans and those who would turn their backs on refugees, there are nearly 2,000 volunteers and supporters in Westchester County looking for opportunities to keep the welcoming movement alive by getting involved in small or large ways.

Realizing that our voices are louder and actions stronger when we work together, WRI aims to bring together, engage and grow this base and put to productive use the positive energy of the grassroots movement through a collection of actions and coalition building programs to support refugees in their integration and assimilation as new Americans.

OUR VISION

We envision a Westchester County that offers tolerance, respect, and support for those who have been forced to flee their homes. 

OUR GOAL

To share our collective knowledge, resources, expertise, and opportunities, to raise awareness about the plight of refugees and to advocate for their continued acceptance and protection.  Expand the network with new supporters inspired and encouraged by the vision and opportunities to support these vulnerable individuals and families we aim to help.

Inspire other communities to replicate this model of community building.

HOW DO WE ACCOMPLISH THIS?

With your help.  Plains and simple.  This is a volunteer-driven network of roughly 2,000+ individuals who are part of their communities, faith, and civic groups.  Mobilizing and expanding the power and reach of the existing volunteer network will enable continued growth of the grassroots welcoming movement.

WRI represents non-profit organizations, faith communities, student and community groups, and committed individuals dedicated to working together to advocate for just refugee and asylum policies, educate neighbors and communities, and serve refugee and asylee populations across the county. By bringing together a diverse coalition we can have more impact.

See this growing list of Supporters of Refugees.

To join us and to learn more about WRI programs, send an email to  WRI@heartsandhomesforrefugees.org 

Join HHR's Facebook page for opportunities and updates.

Our voices are louder and actions stronger when we work together.

“Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.”

Helen Keller