Resettle Together: West Suburban Consortium
We recognize that we are strengthened as a community and country by the diversity and resilience of newcomers in our country.
Resettle Together is a network of community partners committed to responding to the global refugee crisis. We support the International Institute of New England’s (IINE) efforts to provide immediate and long-term support and to create connections to welcome newcomers.
The IINE, a not-for-profit refugee resettlement agency based in Lowell, serves nearly 2,000 refugees and immigrants each year. The majority of refugees are from countries where they may have fled war or persecution for religious or political beliefs—or even for their gender. The refugees have been thoroughly vetted then selected to come to the United States through a long-standing refugee resettlement program administered by IINE.
Several faith communities and local organizations came together in April 2016 to formalize a partnership with IINE. This local partnership is under the umbrella of the Needham Area Immigration Justice Task Force. Groups interested in working with Resettle Together can contact us. The “Resettle Together: West Suburban Consortium” is one of several such consortia in in this region.
What We Do
- Educate the public about refugees, refugee laws and regulations, and other related topics. Raise awareness of anti-refugees sentiments and its sources.
- Support legislation and policies that increases funding to refugee resettlement and allows increased numbers of refugees to enter the USA.
- Oppose legislation and policies that targets individuals on the basis of nationality or religion from obtaining refugee status.
- Support the work of IINE through raising awareness, fundraising, and participation in IINE programs.
- Work directly with a refugee immigrant family settling in Lowell, Mass.
- The strategy is to have interested folks form a Welcome Team to adopt a refugee family and respond directly to the family’s needs as defined by its members.
- This would begin with a group of eight members trained to respond in a way that IINE would define.
- Reach Jessica Day if you would like to explore this: firstname.lastname@example.org
- IINE has a volunteer base to assist them in their programs including
- Assisting in the IINE office in Lowell
- Responding to needs as they arise (sign up for newsletter)
- Within our own communities, often in response to IINE needs, we collect household items when needed
- Orient newcomers to the US and help with various life skills for example; transportation, grocery shopping, visit to library or post office
- Practice English skills with refugees through coffee groups, tutoring, informal conversations
- Assist with employment preparation – network with colleagues, neighbors for potential employment opportunities, practice interviews, and resume preparation.
- Help with financial literacy – logistics of paying bills, dealing with banks
- Organize social events
The Children’s Clothing and Toy Drive will hold a one day special Collection Event at the Needham First Baptist Church. Details (including items/ ages and gender of children) are listed at link below to help select age appropriate toys, equipment, and clothing.
Suitcase Stories Live
Suitcase Stories Live is a series of storytelling performances IINE is hosting to honor refugees and immigrants and to raise funds to support IINE’s programming.
The performance series features foreign and U.S.-born residents sharing refugee/immigrant related stories at venues around eastern Massachusetts.
Suitcase Stories Live in Needham June 22, 2017![Resettle Together] and its coalition groups are collaborating with IINE and MassMouth to host Suitcase Stories in Needham at TripAdvisor in Needham on June 22.
Updated information will be posted at the IINE website
- Community Forum – “The Global Refugee Crisis: Voices from Massachusetts.” June 1, 2016 at the Center at the Heights in NeedhamThe forum’s keynote speaker was Merissa Khurma, who spoke about the Syrian refugee crisis. She was joined by three former refugees who have settled in Massachusetts. Ms. Khurma is a Mason Fellow from Jordan and candidate for a Masters of Public Administration at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Prior to joining Harvard, Merissa worked in various economic development projects in Jordan focusing on fiscal reform, workforce development and the Syrian refugee.
- IINE Resettle Together Summits -Lowell – September 10, 2016 and February 4, 2017Representatives representing [Resettle Together] participated in IINE Summits, joining similar groups from eastern Massachusetts. The Summits provide IINE an opportunity to speak to all of the groups in one setting, and for the groups to share their plans and ideas.
- Needham training at Center at the Heights – Cheryl Hamilton, Director Partner Engagement October 6, 2016
- Provided Pre-Arrival Housing Support – collection of Welcoming Bins filled with household items such as plates, pots and pans, laundry detergent, etc.
- Material Donations – collection of furniture and clothing for IINE families
- Financial Donations – to support IINE’s resettlement process