WELCOMING IMMIGRANTS AS NEIGHBORS
- Say hello! – Introduce yourself and your family;
- Take the time to learn something about your new neighbors;
- Learn how to pronounce their names in their language;
- Try to imagine what it would be like to leave your home and move to a new place;
- Take an interest in learning about other cultures and traditions;
- Overcome language barriers by speaking slowly and using simple words (not raising your voice);
- Share a dish, a recipe or something from your garden;
- Invite your neighbors for a coffee or a meal;
- Let them know about community activities or events taking;
- Organize a sport event, BBQ, a street party or a film night and involve your new neighbors in the event;
- Share with them places to visit, things to see, fun things to do and plan an outing together;
- If you have kids encourage them to play together or walk to school together;
- Let them know if there is a neighborhood association or group they can join;
- Answer questions about garbage pick-up, recycling, composting, seasonal home decorating;
- Make them feel like they’re part of the community!
The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) provides new populations with the opportunity to maximize their potential in the United States. Their programs provide people in need with critical resources to assist them in becoming integrated members of American society. Contact the ORR office in your state to find out how to get involved. http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/orr
“Welcoming Immigrants” by Natalie Gott
When Helping Hurts by Steve Corbett and Dr. Brian Fikkert – The book provides foundational concepts and clear principles for helping the poor without hurting them. It then presents proven interventions and relevant applications for churches to use when ministering to the poor both at home and abroad.
African Friends and Money Matters by David Maranz – The author introduces the very different goals of African and Western economic systems. The book is written to assist those traveling to Africa, but it has much broader implications for understanding those from other cultures we encounter in the U.S.
Outcasts United by Warren St. John – The book is the story of a refugee soccer team, their woman coach and a small southern town turned upside down by the process of refugee resettlement.
Welcoming the Stranger: Justice, Compassion & Truth in the Immigration Debate by Matthew Soerens and Jenny Hwang – The authors offer a Christian response to immigration by putting a human face on the issue and telling stories of immigrants’ experiences in and out of the system.