Bridge to Rutland is a group of Rutland County residents working to bring asylum-seekers to Vermont and to support them once they’re here. Asylum is a protection granted to a foreigner already living in the United States or a person arriving at the border who is unable to safely return to their home country because of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.
Handbook for Hosts and Volunteers: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1r2XezZ74DDBFaVcB1l5pGgkvcvSUKptr/view?usp=sharing
To learn more about Bridge to Rutland: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1cYYlPsSrEbM462YrWIL-xqpdW6XAIcEx/view?usp=sharing
To learn more about the asylum process: https://bridgetorutland.com/2020/07/18/example-post/
For frequently used terms and the list of roles involved with supporting an asylum-seeker: https://bridgetorutland.com/2020/07/18/example-post-2/
For a sample budget: https://bridgetorutland.com/2020/07/19/sample-budge/
Talking points on asylum seekers: https://bridgetorutland.com/2021/06/08/speaking-up-for-asylum/
For tips on making anti-racist work part of your support for asylum seekers: https://bridgetorutland.com/2020/07/18/whiteness-savior-complex-trauma-power-in-the-sponsor-experience/
Bridge to Rutland in the news!
- 2023 March Arts Marathon https://www.rutlandherald.com/news/local/bridge-to-rutland-hosts-march-arts-marathon-fundraiser-to-benefit-asylum-seekers/article_612fa6c2-71f7-59f3-b601-faddef0bb83a.html
- Green Mountain Times – March 21, 2022 demonstration calling for the end of Title 42’s racist restrictions on asylum seekers entering the country
- Rutland nonprofit gives asylum-seekers a lifeline https://vtdigger.org/2023/04/28/rutland-nonprofit-gives-asylum-seekers-a-lifeline/
As we welcome asylum seekers to Rutland County, we should remember that we are living and working in the unceded territory of the Abenaki people who, in their own words, have occupied this land “since time immemorial.” It would be a grave mistake to ignore this history, because many of the asylum seekers we’re trying to help have been driven here through the very same processes of violent colonization that originally took this land from the Abenaki. We must seek to dismantle the systems of colonization that generate the need for asylum in the first place. To that end, Bridge to Rutland encourages its members to take concrete steps towards decolonization, first by becoming educated in the history and modern life pathways of the Abenaki people, and then by adopting anti-racist habits—such as showing support for the new anti-racist Rutland school mascot—and by joining Abenaki-led initiatives such as the movement for food sovereignty, which ensures peoples’ access to healthy and culturally meaningful food obtained through sustainable means. To address the trauma endured by asylum seekers, we must also address the harm that we ourselves are perpetuating through the ongoing colonization of unceded territory.
To learn more about Abenaki history, their modern life pathways, their involvement in the movement for food sovereignty, and more: https://abenakitribe.org/aha%2C-inc
To learn more about the campaign to support the new anti-racist Rutland school mascot: https://changetherutlandmascot.com/
Our Community Partners:
- Rutland County Parent Child Center – RCPCC is a community based private nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting and meeting the needs of children, youth and families.
- Wallingford Community Thrift Shop – Neighbors helping Neighbors. We are a group of volunteers dedicated to helping Wallingford and the surrounding communities.
- 218 N Main St, Wallingford, VT 05773
- (802) 446-6040
- Rutland Regional Medical Center – RRMC is Rutland County’s community hospital and is committed to providing quality care to everyone.
- 160 Allen Street, Rutland VT 05701
- The Free Clinic – The Free Clinic provides healthcare to community members with limited resources.
- 145 State Street, Rutland VT 05701
- (802) 775-1360 extension 1
- BROC Community Action – BROC provides community members with access to food, coordinated entry with homeless prevention, assistance paying for fuel, financial planning, tax-preparation, weatherization services, supervised visitation for children who are not living with their parents, and services for people coming out of incarceration and/or working to make amends for harm that they have caused.
- 45 Union Street, Rutland VT 05701
- (802) 775-0878
- Vermont Adult Learning – VAL works with clients to develop work skills and to improve proficiency in reading, math, and other skills needed to earn high school diplomas/GEDs.
- 16 Evelyn Street, Rutland, Vermont 05701
- (802) 775-0617