Our church continues to participate in the Metro North Cluster of Refugee Immigration Ministry (RIM), which currently has two clients. The client from Honduras has moved to full financial independence; however, the cluster will continue to provide community support for her as needed. The client from Egypt (and his family) will move to financial independence by the end of April. The cluster will also continue community support for this family.
Community support includes regular contact with a mentor from the cluster, help with finding a job, helping parents to interact with the school system on their children’s behalf, providing transportation to doctor’s appointments, help with learning English and finding ESOL classes, finding community information, and so on.
Having our two current clients move to financial independence means that the cluster is now ready to take on support for a new client—a much-needed thing, since there are now 29 asylum seekers on the RIM waiting list for cluster support. We hope to have a new client soon.
A large part of cluster funds goes to helping clients pay rent. Our church’s donation of money from the Just Peace Offering ($1828 to the cluster/$1828 to RIM organization), along with the proceeds of the cluster-wide flower bulb sale, will help the cluster to financially provide for a new client. Thank you, FCC Winchester!!
The cluster is also working to develop a host home program as a way to support clients with a place to live. This can be especially important if housing is needed at short notice. A RIM client would typically stay in a host home for six months. But there is also a need for host homes on an emergency basis, where a client could stay for week or two. We are working out details on identifying hosts, offering information and training on what being a host home involves, and how the cluster will support clients in host homes.
If you are interested in exploring the idea of offering a host home or learning more about RIM activities, contact Linda Alexander (617-763-0650) or Bruce Alexander (617-605-6030).