TIS Hosts a Refugee Family

Learn more about our efforts…

Jenny Winkler and Phil Lorang will serve as our Co-Sponsor Leads. Together, with your support, TIS will participate in this meaningful, timely, and important mitzvah.

While there are many opportunities to become involved, we will need a lead (or two) for each area of need. When you sign up, let us know if you might be able to assist in this capacity.

We’ll invite everyone who is interested to participate in a cultural awareness event once we have more details about our “adopted” family.

Once you’ve had a chance to take a look at the many opportunities available below, email us and let us know the area(s) in which you would like to share your time and talents. Email Beth and then she’ll contact Jenny and Phil who will be in touch with you! You may also call her at 619 697-6001, ext. 108.

Housing Committee

Prior to the arrival of our family

  •  Research safe, affordable housing with access to public transportation if possible.
  • Secure and furnish safe, affordable housing.
  • Organize donation drive / fundraise for home items.
  • Arrange for utilities.

Arrival – 90 Days

  • Have appropriate food staples in the home ready for the family’s arrival.
  • Provide seasonally appropriate clothing.
  • Continue to collect seasonally appropriate clothing and items that the family needs.

Welcoming Committee

Prior to the arrival of our family…

  • Research relevant cultural, religious, and local community groups.
  • Be aware of when the family will arrive and stay up-to-date on any plan changes.


  • Welcome the family at the airport with the help of an interpreter.
  • Transport the family to their new home.
  • Provide a culturally appropriate hot meal upon arrival.
  • Assist with a complete home safety orientation.

Cultural Orientation Committee

Prior to the arrival of our family…

  • Research relevant cultural, religious, and local community groups.
  • Register on CORE’s website and take provider training.

Arrival – 6 Months

Deliver JFS-provided required Cultural Orientation presentations and activities to the family:

  1. Role of resettlement agency
  2. Cultural adjustment
  3. Health & hygiene
  4. Transportation
  5. U.S. laws
  6. Education
  7. Employment
  8. Finance & personal budgeting
  • Orient the family to the community (library, parks, nearby grocery store, etc.).
  • Facilitate connections to community.
  • Be aware of culturally relevant holidays for the family.

Health & Benefits Committee

Prior to the arrival of our family

  • Learn from JFS about state laws and requirements surrounding benefits such as: Medicaid, SNAP, and TANF.
  • Research closest pharmacy to home.
  • Create list of nearby food pantries, free extracurricular programs, and parks.
    Arrival – 90 Days
  • Help JFS make clients understand benefit requirements and navigate possible loss of benefits due to income changes.
  • Transport to essential benefit appointments, Refugee Health Screenings, and other medical appointments.

3 – 6 Months

  • Educate and connect to mental health services, if needed.
  • Share information on physical and nutritional health.
  • Ensure family understands how to ask for a medical interpreter, make doctor’s appointments, and pick up medications.

Education & Language Committee

Prior to the arrival of our family

  • Research nearby ESL classes accessible by public transportation.
  • Research nearby school for children.
  • Identify 1 – 2 interpreters with JFS assistance.
  • Identify a school liaison within this committee who will serve as a point person for the family in regards to children’s schooling.

Arrival – 90 Days

  • Enroll children into school.
  • Enroll adult family members to an ESL program.
  • Work with the family to understand children’s bus and school schedule.

3 – 6 Months

  • Provide informal language practice partners.
  • Identify if children need additional tutoring services.

Employment & Finance Committee

Prior to the arrival of our family

  • Research entry level jobs that are accessible to the family’s location and language level.
  • Begin informing your local contacts that you will need their help searching for employment for the family.

Arrival – 90 Days

  • Speak with family to identify career or vocational interests and aspirations in the short and long term.
  • Assist with job search, interviews, applications.
  • Review end-of-90 Day Close Out Budget.
  • Offer support once job is obtained, to increase retention.

3 – 6 Months

  • Build upon resume and cover letter.
  • Continue to explain the possibility of losing benefits due to increased wages.
  • Continue to provide financial education and connect with local workforce agencies to assist family in long term planning.

Additional Resources from JFS for Volunteers working with Refugee Resettlement

Switchboard (a resource hub for refugee service providers) has links to many webinar recordings for working with refugees including;

Check out Switchboard and their resources

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