More than 68 million people worldwide have been uprooted by conflict and natural disaster. A group of concerned Missoulians came together to be a small part of alleviating the suffering for these families and provide a "soft landing" for them in their new community of Missoula, Montana. Soft Landing Missoula focuses on building a sustainable effort to engage the community in being a welcoming, supportive and informed place to help refugees integrate and thrive.
WHAT WE DO
EDUCATION, OUTREACH & COMMUNITY RESOURCES
presentations to the community
SLM Presents lecture series
SLM programs locationfood bank location in partnership with Montana Food Bank Network
ADULT & CHILD LANGUAGE SUPPORT
adult English classes in-office
in-home tutoring one-on-one
bikes & equipment safety & maintenance classes, Missoula trails orientation
driver's education in preparation for the driving exam
car donation facilitation for licensed drivers
VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATION & TRAINING
volunteer recruitment in partnership with community organizations
SLM program volunteer recruitment, training & management
IN-KIND DONATION ORGANIZATION & DISTRIBUTION
collect needed items in partnership with local churches, schools & other community groups
collect home setup donations for IRC
individual sponsorship to cook and sell goods at the Farmers Market
Supper Club partnering refugee chefs with local restaurants to provide cultural meals to the community
entrepreneurship support to help refugee chefs work towards licensing their own businesses
Who is a refugee?
There are 65.3 million forcibly displace people in the world.
21.3 million are categorized as refugees.
107,100 refugees (less than 1%) were resettled across the globe in 2015.
What does DISPLACED mean?
People who are categorized as displaced may be internally displaced in their own country; seeking asylum in neighboring countries; stateless persons; refugees;
Who qualifies as a REFUGEE?
A person who has a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership
in a particular social group. People must register with the United Nations (UN) to become a refugee.
THERE ARE 3 PATHS FOR REFUGEES:
1 RETURN to their home country if conflicts are resolved
2 REMAIN where they have fled, possibly as second-class citizens
3 RESETTLE with an opportunity to make a new home
The UN always prioritizes solutions 1 and 2. Only the most vulnerable 1% are recommended for resettlement and they cannot pick their country of resettlement. The hardest way to enter the US is as a refugee.
• women & children at risk
• survivors of violence &/or torture
|• medical needs||• family reunification|
| In 2015, the UN reported that 51% of global refugees|
were children and this percentage is climbing.
Resettlement in the US
Once the UN has referred a refugee to the US for resettlement, the US screening process begins. The US decides whether or not to accept the refugee for resettlement. The entire process is conducted abroad and can take up to 2 years.
The United States has an exceptional history of welcoming refugees and is the top resettlement country in the world.
How does the VETTING PROCESS work? REFUGEES GO THROUGH:
US Federal Government Agencies
separate background checks
biometric security checks
inter-agency security checks
UNHCR refers a vulnerable refugee for resettlement
US government screens the refugee & determines whether to admit them for resettlement or not
The State Department assigns the case to one of the 9 agencies that operate in over 200 location in the US
WHEN A FAMILY IS CLEARED FOR RESETTLEMENT, 9 non-profit, government-contracted agencies provid incoming families access to core services such as food, shelter, medical care, employment and education. These organizations operate in over 200 locations nationwide. In Missoula, this role is filled by the International Rescue Committee (IRC)