Change their lives—and yours.
Co-sponsor teams play a critical role in helping refugees thrive in their new home. Your friendship and financial support can ensure a warm welcome and a strong start to life in the U.S.
Make a Home (Optional)
Turn an apartment RefugeeOne secures into a home by stocking it with all the basics needed to make it a comfortable space.
Fundraise $6,000 – $10,000 to help with initial rent, bills, and household expenses as a family becomes independent.
Be a Friend
Some of your team of 6-10 will visit at least weekly for six months to building a relationship and help the family adjust.
Interested in being a co-sponsor?
We’ll reach out to you after submission to talk more about the opportunity.
How many people are on a co-sponsor team?
A co-sponsor team is generally 6-10 people, organized by a single team lead who acts as a liaison with RefugeeOne. The team will work together in preparation for a refugee family’s arrival, attend the airport arrival, then share the rotating responsibility of weekly visits to the family. You can form a team with your faith community, neighborhood group, alumni association, workplace, or just a group of your family and friends.
Of course, your “core team” of 6-10 people will likely draw on a much larger network to hit your fundraising goal and collect all the items needed to furnish an apartment. “It takes a village!”
I'm an individual, can you add me to an existing co-sponsor team?
Unfortunately, RefugeeOne does not have the capacity to match individual volunteers with other teammates. Co-sponsorship is a large undertaking and requires a lot of teamwork and communication independent of RefugeeOne – we find it’s best that teams organize themselves and commit together to the work it will take to prepare for and welcome a refugee family.
Can I host refugees in my home? Can you resettle a refugee family in my town/neighborhood?
RefugeeOne’s program model doesn’t work with private residential hosts – we rent apartments in refugees’ names so they can begin living independently and building credit immediately upon arrival. Refugees’ apartments are generally located near RefugeeOne’s headquarters in Chicago’s West Rogers Park neighborhood. This allows families easy access to critical programs and services for their first year here, as well as a variety of culturally appropriate community resources.
How do you rent an apartment for a refugee who isn't in the U.S. yet?
As you can imagine, it’s not easy to find an affordable apartment available for rent to a family with no rental or credit history, and without immediate income when they arrive in Chicago!
RefugeeOne has built relationships with local landlords who are willing to welcome our newest neighbors and give them the opportunity to call somewhere home again. (We’re always looking for affordable housing contacts who are willing to rent to newcomers in Chicago’s West Ridge, Rogers Park, and Albany Park neighborhoods, or in nearby suburbs with public transit routes to our office, like Skokie and Evanston. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any leads.)
Can you match my team with a family from a specific country?
RefugeeOne doesn’t have control over arrival times or which families are referred for resettlement through our program. While we do consider your team’s language skills or cultural experience that may be of benefit to a family, we prioritize need rather than nationality and can’t guarantee any specific matches.
Is my co-sponsor team responsible for keeping/dispersing money we raise?
The money you raise for co-sponsorship will go directly to RefugeeOne. All gifts are tax-deductible and we’ll take care of receipting donors and dispersing funds for refugee program participants!
Will you provide my co-sponsor team training?
Absolutely. Your team’s liaison will be in touch with a dedicated staff member throughout your experience. Every team receives a live 1.5 hour training prior to being matched with a family, as well as access to resources that will guide you along the way.
RefugeeOne will be working alongside you as your mentor, handling all of refugees’ official paperwork, initial medical appointments, and enrollment in public benefits and schools. We also provide in-house programs for English classes, job search assistance, mental health care, and additional youth services. You don’t have to worry about any of those things, so you can concentrate on building a social relationship and helping with day-to-day life adjustment.