To succeed in the U.S., refugees need to learn "how things work" here and where to find resources they need. You can help.
Welcome Team Tips
A welcome team is a group of people who commit to helping newly-arrived refugees get started in Austin. Some of the things welcome teams can do are:
- Furnish an apartment and provide culturally-appropriate food.
- Greet refugees at the airport and take them to their new home.
- Drive them to appointments at places such as the Social Security office, the health clinic, etc.
- Show them how to use the bus and the library.
In this section, we'll be adding tips on how to create a welcome team that's efficient, effective, rewarding and, most of all, fun.
While we continue to work on our Volunteer tips, please visit the food section of our Refugee Resources area. You'll see some of the things volunteers can help with, including teaching refugees how to read labels and where to find food pantries.
Finding affordable housing in Austin is a huge undertaking for anyone but especially for refugees. They also need help understanding leases, what to do in a dispute with the landlord and where to get help if they can't pay the rent. Here you'll find information on how volunteers can teach refugees how to find resources to solve problems.
While we continue to work on our Volunteer tips, please visit the money section of the Refugee Resources area to learn what refugees need to know, including learning about money, opening a bank account, and much more.
While we continue to work on our Volunteer section, please visit the shopping section of our Refugee Resources area to learn what kinds of things volunteers can help with, including the most important part: how to save money.
This is truly the place where volunteers can have the most impact. As we continue to build our volunteer section, please visit the Refugee Resources work section to find more information about job training, where to search for jobs on the internet, and much more.
While we continue to work on this content, please visit the children section under Refugee Resources to see what you might help with, including helping kids be successful in school, child safety in America, resources for free diapers and low-cost daycare.
You don't have to be an English teacher to help a newcomer learn English! Anyone can help by volunteering to assist in an ESL classroom at one of the many programs across the city or by joining a conversation group to help newcomers practice speaking. You can also volunteer to meet with a refugee once a week to do basic English practice at their home. Here you'll find information on where you can volunteer.
Introducing Austin to newcomers is a great way to help them feel welcome – and it's fun! Here we talk about showing your refugee friends where things are and how to get there. Take them on a sightseeing tour. Show them the nearest library and help them get a library card. Teach them how to use the bus. These "field trips" can also remind us of what we take for granted as we find out what they need to learn. They show us how much we can learn from one another.