As they say in the movies … “Follow the money”. Looking at World Relief Minnesota’s financial statements, you’d discover that the majority of our revenue comes from government contracts that have been put in place by both the federal and state governments to transition refugees to sustainability as quickly as possible. In the context of these contracts, World Relief Minnesota provides social services for refugees residing within 50 miles of Minneapolis.
However, the government designed these programs to be a public-private partnership. The funding received from the government to resettle refugees is inadequate to cover the cost of housing, furniture, food, and clothing expenses that are incurred in the first 30-90 days after arrival. [Many of these items are mandated by the government contract as necessary for setting up a new household.] The intent of the program is that local communities would contribute funds or gifts-in-kind as a partial matching for the government funds. Faith communities have a strong history of contributing items (furniture, clothing, etc.), transporting refugees to appointments (volunteer hours), and giving of their finances.
partnering with the church
World Relief Minnesota also receives private donations that fund opportunities for church members and community volunteers to build relationships with refugees through housing initiatives, ESL classes, and other outreach activities. We believe that as church members build relationships with newly arrived refugees, both the refugee family and the church benefit. For as the church loves the poor, the widow, and the stranger, it becomes what God intended the Church to be. The Church is the people of God being transformed by the full gospel and offering up that same gospel to the most vulnerable. We begin to see fuller glimpses of the Kingdom of God and the abundant life that God desires for each of us.