West Hartford Clergy Look to Sponsor Refugees

Mar 14, 2016

Pastor Geordie Campbell of the First Congregational Church of Christ organized the first meeting of West Hartford clergy last September because of his own anguish over the refugee crisis.

“I felt like someone had to do something constructive,” said Campbell.

The original group of 12 clergy has expanded, and congregations have banded together to commit to sponsoring one family each.

Campbell’s group, which includes a local synagogue and a Baptist church, last week completed mandatory training in Connecticut’s Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services -- known as IRIS.

“Which means that as soon as IRIS can get us a family, we’ll have a family,” said Campbell.

Once the call comes, there are two weeks to find and furnish an apartment, pay the security deposit, and first month’s rent.

Sponsors also help their families find jobs, and receive medical care. 

This report is from New England Public Radio.