Originally published: March 20, 2020
Dear HPRP Community,
As many of you know, we have spent the last few months preparing to resettle a new family. We have been gathering new volunteers and building a welcome team, fundraising, and hunting for an apartment to house them. We’ve been thinking about furniture and household goods, schools, and English classes with a sense of excitement and purpose.
Until, that is, Covid19 threw a wrench in the works. Now, as you are aware, a national emergency has been declared, schools have been closed, and social distancing has been recommended. Thus, we’ve had to cancel tutoring and after-school programs, and, unfortunately, postpone welcoming a new family for the time being. Just yesterday, the UNHCR announced a temporary suspension of resettlement travel for refugees.
While we are sad about this lost opportunity, we have seen that our current families are facing enormous challenges in the coming months, as employers reduce hours and let workers go. An NPR poll found that 1 in 5 workers is already facing layoffs and reduced hours. Going forward, we will be re-directing our energies and our funds to support these families through this time.
We wanted to let you know that we are looking at ways to use the funds so generously donated by so many of you for a new family toward making sure our current families continue to thrive. We are looking for alternative jobs, financial assistance for them, and even trying to help keep kids engaged!
We feel incredibly lucky to have such dedicated volunteers and an amazing and welcoming community. As we come together to meet this challenge, we want to thank you again for all you have done.
The HPRP Team
Main image: UNHCR