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Help a Refugee Family feel at Home in the U.S.

It is our privilege and duty as God’s people to follow His example in loving and welcoming strangers. Our resettlement program within the United States works in collaboration with local churches, volunteers, and service providers to ensure refugee families a safe and smooth transition into their new homes.

This program is active in Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Looking for information on the U.S. refugee crisis? 

How You Can Help Refugees NOW

Statement Concerning Executive Order on Refugee Resettlement

The safety and well-being of children and families is Bethany Christian Services’ primary concern. Given our long-standing commitment to welcoming refugee and immigrant families, in partnership with local churches and community agencies, Bethany Christian Services is deeply saddened to hear of President Trump’s executive order to temporarily halt refugee resettlement, to significantly reduce the numbers of refugees resettled in the United States and to exclude from resettlement refugees coming from some of the most war torn countries in the world. Each year, thousands of families arrive in the U.S. as refugees or immigrants – some are children who arrive as unaccompanied minors, having been separated from their families overseas as they fled violence or disaster. Providing protection to those seeking safety is one of our nation’s proudest and longest standing traditions. The need for resettlement remains great and Bethany is committed to working with government officials at all levels to ensure that this tradition of welcoming refugees and immigrant families and helping them adjust to life in the U.S. continues. While we understand and appreciate the President’s commitment to our country’s safety, the vetting process for refugees is rigorous. Historically, all refugees coming to the U.S. are vetted first through the United Nations and then through U.S. authorities, including the National Counterterrorism Center, the Terrorist Screening Center, the Department of Defense, the FBI, and the Department of Homeland Security. Additionally, this screening process can take up to two years. Our hope is that this ban is indeed only temporary so that the millions of refugees currently fighting for their lives can once again rely on the caring and compassion that has made the United States the greatest country in the world.


Volunteer to Help Refugees

There are many opportunities, especially for volunteers, to help families resettle in the U.S., including:

  • Group Co-Sponsorship: Churches, businesses, and community groups may co-sponsor a refugee or refugee family. The group co-sponsor will prepare apartments with necessities, meet families at the airport, and provide English tutoring, bus training, and ongoing cultural assistance.
  • New Neighbor Program: The New Neighbor Program provides friendship and assistance and serves as a cultural bridge for adult refugees who are dealing with questions of how to live in the U.S. Local volunteers commit to three months of assistance for refugees.

  • English as a Second Language (ESL) Tutoring: All our refugee clients are put into an ESL class upon arrival. We also offer the English Tutoring Program which provides a one-on-one tutor for an adult refugee to assist in improving his or her competency in using English.

  • Bus Training: Our Bus Training Program helps refugee clients become self-sufficient in their transportation.

Donations for Refugee Resettlement

Cash donations to our Welcoming Strangers Fund helps us welcome refugee families are always needed and appreciated. We also gladly accept items on behalf of our clients. We can pick up furniture items within a 25-minute vicinity of our Grand Rapids, Michigan office.

To donate or for more information, please contact us at 616.284.3262.

What We Do

We work with refugee families for the first six months they are in the country, doing everything from meeting them at the airport and providing them a place to live, to bringing them to doctor's appointments, providing language training, and helping them find a job. The goal is to provide a safe, new community for refugee and immigrant families where they will be able to thrive as self-sufficient, contributing members of society.

History

In October of 1998, Bethany Christian Services’ resettlement program was approved to do reception and placement by becoming a Michigan resettlement affiliate of the Church World Service Immigration and Refugee Program (CWS-IRP), working with the U.S. State Department to resettle refugees in the United States. In June 2016, Bethany Christian Services was approved to provide refugee resettlement and refugee youth foster care services in Lancaster, Allentown and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.