We are the River East Refugee Alliance (RERA), a community of volunteers located in Connecticut (mostly east of the Connecticut River with members from the towns of Glastonbury, East Hartford, Colchester, Gilead, Hebron, Manchester, and Hartford) who have come together for the purpose of supporting a refugee or immigrant family resettle in our area.
We provide support by assisting families with the many challenges they face as they arrive in a new land. This includes helping them acquire housing, apply for, and obtain healthcare and school enrollment, learn English, obtain employment, learn the public transportation system, and much more. We also assist new families financially during their first year. With this guidance and assistance, a family is empowered to support themselves within a year and become members of their new community. The goal is for families to eventually become US citizens (after 5 years).
We believe that these efforts enrich both the individuals and the communities we serve. Helping the family offers them hope and support which comes back to the community as friendship, gratitude, and an interest in learning about our culture as they teach us about the richness of theirs.
RERA is applying to be a co-sponsor group of IRIS(Integrated Refugee & Immigration Services), a CT-based resettlement organization established in 1992. IRIS partners with community groups throughout Connecticut to help refugee families restart their lives in towns across the state. IRIS is responsible for many family resettlements with their own staff but cannot manage the large numbers coming to CT at this time. They have established the co-sponsorship model where they partner with community group volunteers throughout the state, like ours. IRIS provides structure and guidance, but each community group is responsible for raising the money and the volunteers to do the work.
Thank you for visiting our website! If you’re interested in volunteering, please use the contact form to introduce yourself. Also please consider using the donate button to support resettlement of a new family in our community.