Come worship with us at 9:30 a.m. on Sundays

2515 Central Park Avenue, Evanston, IL 60201
(847) 869-9210

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Learn more about refugees

In 2016, our congregation energized to support a Syrian family who had suffered torture, death, and tremendous loss. That family is thriving and is now in the process of becoming US citizens.

But the need for refugee assistance has only grown. In November 2021, Northminster’s Session approved a proposal allowing the formation of a Refugee Team as a special subcommittee of the Mission and Social Justice Committee. That team is hard at work, and Northminster is engaging with two agencies that support refugees – RefugeeOne and Refugee Community Connection (RCC).

Northminster supports refugee families by

Providing financial support. The U.S. State Department provides only a small one-time grant in support for a refugee family’s first three months. Refugee resettlement agencies receive funding for other support services like ESL classes and youth programs, but there is an enormous gap of unmet need for basic living—shelter and food. Refugees work hard to become self-sufficient: 95% achieve this within one year. Northminster provides funds to cover rent and groceries that are NOT covered by the initial grant, through the first six months and potentially beyond that as needed.

Establishing an ongoing mentoring relationship with a family. Mentors form supportive personal relationships, getting to know the family we are supporting and visiting weekly on a rotating schedule for 3 to 6 months. Mentors assist refugees in adjusting to their new surroundings, provide practical tips on life in Chicago, and help with practicing English, understanding schoolwork and other forms, and finding stability. Mentors also occasionally take “field trips” with the family, introducing them to some of the highlights of the Chicago area.

Collecting goods to help stock the refugee family’s first apartment, or for special needs like school supplies, winter coats, etc. To donate needed items, click here. Please leave your donations in the Refugee box in the church narthex or contact Rita Bailey, Donated Item Pick Up Coordinator, to arrange for pickup (ritabeee@gmail.com or 847-903-8310).

Link for more information about Afghan Refugees

Organizations we partner with

RefugeeOne, a resettlement agency that provides a wide variety of services for refugees. To learn more about what RefugeeOne does, click here.

Refugee Community Connection (RCC) Not a resettlement agency, RCC is a group of hundreds of volunteers who coordinate to fill the gaps left by resettlement agencies. RCC volunteers provide newly arrived refugees with immediate assistance getting the food, supplies, and furnishings they need. Visit their page and request membership (they are a private group, for security reasons) to learn more.

Westminster Presbyterian Church—This Springfield congregation wanted to help welcome refugees to America, but few if any refugees are being resettled in their hometown. We are partnering with their Mission Committee to provide a broader and deeper ministry to refugee families in the Chicago area.

Refugee Team Members

Laurie McFarlane Davies, Rita Bailey, Doug Balkin, Susan Blatz, Kelly Brest van Kempen, Lesley Delmenico, Jackie Eddy, Barbara Ellson, Jessica Gregory, Trina Janes, Ann Johnson, Ginny (Virginia) Johnson, Nancy Kim Phillips, Jan MacDermid, Erica Mbangamoh, Amy Mendelson, Mary Rosic, Nan Shorey, Greg Smith

Header image “120410-N-3069F-016 by NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.