Refugee Co-Sponsorship

Partnering with IRIS to welcome & resettle new Americans

Watch this 8-minute video to learn about one group's experience co-sponsoring an Iraqi family through IRIS.

Co-sponsorship Whenever possible, IRIS recruits community based groups – often churches and other houses of worship – to participate in this great mission of welcoming and resettling refugee families in Connecticut. Not surprisingly, refugee families come with a lot of needs. Community groups can help in many ways. The following is a list of tasks that groups can help with:

  • Collect furniture for a family
  • Find an apartment (often churches own property or have a vacant parish house.)
  • Pay the first 2 to 3 months of rent (this comes to about $3,000)
  • Collect clothing and food for a family
  • Set up the apartment (a few days before the family arrives)
  • Meet the refugee family at the airport, or at the Limo station, when they arrive; and drive the family to their new home
  • Cook a “culturally appropriate” hot meal to serve the family when they arrive
  • Drive the family to appointments: DSS, Social Security, IRIS office, DMV
  • Arrange for health care appointments and drive the family to and from
  • Register the children in schools
  • Teach the family English and help the children with homework
  • Show the family how to take public transportation, where to launder clothing, where and how to shop
  • Help the adults find jobs

Growing out of a tradition of faith-based refugee resettlement, IRIS looks to congregations and other community-based groups to partner with us in our mission, and even host (as a full co-sponsor) a refugee family in their community. IRIS trains community groups in the requirements of co-sponsorship and guides them as they move through the process. Groups that are unable to undertake a full co-sponsorship are encouraged to assist where they can. Some groups, for example, choose to furnish an apartment and welcome a new family on arrival. Others have contributed money towards refugees’ support.


Downlaod our co-sponorship overview and steps for getting started.


Email Chris George and Ashley Makar for more information.