Hearts and Homes for Refugees
Our work began in 2016 with a task force of volunteers in Pelham, NY (Westchester County) who feared for the millions of families fleeing their homes and enduring great suffering. Faced with a global refugee crisis and no options for welcoming refugees to resource-rich Westchester County, Hearts and Homes for Refugees (HHR) formed in order to change the landscape by mobilizing the most powerful and untapped resource—the resolve and the goodwill of its one million residents. Many people believed there was powerful work to be done to ease transitions to American life and to make it possible for more families to be resettled in the US with committed help waiting for them. (HHR) was born, organized around these mandates:
Convene, Welcome, Educate, Advocate
With a vision to shift the paradigm of US refugee resettlement through more community co-sponsorships, HHR led the way and resettled the first refugee family in Westchester County in 2017.
In 2018, HHR created a platform, the Westchester Refugee Initiative, to inspire, educate and advocate, and motivate others to welcome and assist refugees.
Today, over 400 refugees have been directly impacted by this grassroots movement. Westchester County is now home to two Resettlement Agencies, a dozen co-sponsor groups, and more than 30 interfaith, civic and student group partners. HHR is creating opportunities for over 2,000+ individuals to fulfill their moral obligation to act on behalf of refugees.
MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER
Nurturing a broader network of welcoming communities, continuing to offer refugee-support programs, and engaging in advocacy now will help shift the paradigm of refugee resettlement in the future when we return to a more robust refugee resettlement program.
This grassroots movement continues to shine brightly as a counterpoint of light in these dark times of anti-refugee sentiment.
We hope to shine as a model for other communities.
To learn more about volunteering, click here: Volunteer.
To support HHR and these volunteer-driven programs, please DONATE.
--Students of The Pelham Picture House