Jewish Family Services and Habitat for Humanity Announce Partnership to Help Refugee Families Resettling in Delaware
Donations of Furniture are being sought from the Community
Wilmington, DE (February 26, 2018)
Since its founding, JFS has been working with refugee and immigrant populations, regardless of race or religion. JFS has historical experience responding to international refugee crises; during the last major refugee crisis in the late 1980s, JFS was instrumental in resettling hundreds of families from the Former Soviet Union in Delaware. JFS has been providing émigré services since 1997. As of 2017, JFS is the only resettlement agency in Delaware welcoming people from all over the world
The new collaboration between Habitat for Humanity and JFS is an exciting example of organizations developing a collective mission “to provide newly arrived refugees a fully furnished and outfitted home” while remaining true to each organizations’ core competencies. Habitat for Humanity, with its ReStore store operations, has the capacity to schedule and pick up donations. JFS has supporters willing to donate furniture, household goods, etc. for our newly arrived refugees. Together we will be able to operate quickly and effectively to welcome these families. Our next refugee family arrives at the end of February; a 4-year-old little girl and her parents who have spent the last 3 years in a refugee camp.
Habitat for Humanity (HFH) and JFS are seeking donations of gently used furniture and household goods from the community. HFH will give JFS credit to spend at the ReStore that represents the value of the donations made in the name of this program. This makes it possible for JFS and the refugee families to shop for what they need and want to prepare the home.
All donations are tax deductible.
Currently, JFS is partnering with HIAS—one of nine national resettlement agencies—to meet refugee families the moment they step into the United States and assist them with everything they need to begin their new life in Delaware. JFS staff members provide transition services and case management to help families resettle, and volunteers assist with tasks from creating resource packets for local landlords and employers, to sourcing furniture for apartments, to providing transportation. JFS works with its coalition partners to host activities and offer educational opportunities including ESL classes to ensure that refugees feel welcome in their new home.
JFS currently leads a coalition of 27 faith-based groups and community organizations which help refugees adjust to their new lives in Delaware. The coalition, RISE: Refugee Integration Support Effort, unites synagogues, churches, mosques, and other organizations like Habitat for Humanity to help immigrants and refugees succeed in Delaware. Furthermore, RISE connects immigrants, refugees, and community members through “cultural exchange opportunities” – opportunities to connect and celebrate their shared strength and similarities, as well as to celebrate diversity. For example, the Islamic Society of Delaware and the Unitarian Universalist Society of Millcreek – both coalition members – recently brought their children’s faith groups together for a shared class, building empathy and the potential for lasting connections.
RISE also works to ensure newly arrived refugees feel fully connected to and embraced by their new community. Volunteers provide refugee families with support in the form of companionship, guidance, and a range of services. Some examples include: connecting with local landlords to help families find safe housing, providing transportation, teaching them to drive and grocery shop and linking families to state and local services.
About Jewish Family Services of Delaware
JFS Delaware was founded in 1898 with the goal of improving people’s lives. Since then, the organization has expanded to serve people throughout the state, reaching more than 1,500 clients annually. The organization’s core mission is to provide counseling and support services that strengthen the well-being of the individual, family, and community, based on Jewish values. JFS Delaware provides a continuum of support services focused on individuals and families during the most vulnerable times of their lives. Our programs include outpatient mental health services; in-home care management; support services for older adults aging-in-place; prevention education and digital media training for at-risk youth; case management and workforce development for youth identified with disabilities; family support services including case management for refugee families; a volunteer network; and a crisis alleviation program that distributes food, clothing, and household supplies to clients in need.
About Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County
Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County has been building affordable housing for low- to moderate-income families since 1986. Since our inception, we have served over 330 families and individuals with housing and homeownership solutions in areas throughout New Castle County, including Wilmington, Middletown, Newark, and New Castle. We focus our work in 5 neighborhoods in need of reinvestment and revitalization. Habitat for Humanity’s neighborhood revitalization work includes the construction and renovation of homes, critical repairs for low-income homeowners and neighborhood-based exterior beautification projects. According to Habitat for Humanity International, HFHNCC’s housing productivity is among the top 30 of 1700 nationwide affiliates, and in the top 5 of 210 affiliates from Delaware to Maine. HFHNCC welcomes 3700 volunteers each year, who contribute more than 64,000 hours of work. Through our unique approach, we help low-income families break the cycle of poverty through the stability and empowerment gained through homeownership.
The ReStore is Habitat for Humanity’s non-profit business venture supporting the community through resale of new and used furniture, construction materials and household goods at a deep discount. The ReStore picks up and received drop-offs of donations from public and private donors. Net proceeds from the operation of the stores go to Habitat for Humanity’s housing program. The Prices Corner store has 25,000 of sq. ft. and has generated sales of over $1,000,000 for 3 years in a row.
Store locations are:
Store hours are Tuesday – Thursday, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Friday & Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.