Sponsoring an Asylum Seeker

What are the responsibilities of a host?

To be a host, you must be a US citizen or legal permanent resident, and you must have a room in your home that will serve as a comfortable bedroom for your guest(s). The home and basic support you provide must be offered without any exchange of services in return (for example, working on the family farm). We must be very explicit about this due to laws on human trafficking and indentured servitude.

The part that Bridge to Rutland plays in sponsorship is to:

  • arrange and pay for transportation to get the asylum seeker from detention to your home
  • cover the costs of food and other basic necessities such as toiletries, clothing, and transportation to court hearings and immigration check-ins
  • help your guest navigate your community, know their way around, and get connected
  • assist in finding legal counsel and health care
  • assist in getting a phone and a phone plan
  • help secure identification documents such as a passport from the home country
  • help your guest make connections with local groups and individuals who can assist with community integration, learning English, navigating public transportation, learning how the local school system works, and so on

View some frequently used terms on this page.

View a list of roles involved with supporting an asylum-seeker by clicking here.

What should I consider in deciding if hosting is the right thing for me?

The most important thing is your willingness to open your home and your heart to a person or family in need of asylum! But there are other things to consider as well, some of which are essential—such as having enough living space—and some are desirable but not essential, such as proficiency in your guest’s language. Some key things to consider:

  • Do you have an extra bedroom that can be dedicated to the use of this guest for at least 6 months?
  • Do you have or can you raise the funds necessary for your guest’s support?
  • Have you developed an awareness of how your position within the matrix of relative privilege and power impacts how you move through the world and interact with others? These include things like race, gender, gender identity, and economic privilege.
  • Do you live reasonably close to public transportation?
  • Do you or someone in your household have some familiarity with Spanish or another language likely to be known by your guest?
  • Can you or others in your circle make a solid commitment to support this person or persons for at least six months?
  • Can you take some time off of work when your guest arrives in order to help them get oriented and feel at home?
  • Do you have, or can you build, a strong community of support that can assist your guest with getting oriented to the community, assessing needed services, making helpful connections, etc?
  • Do you have practices that help you stay centered, grounded and sustained? Will you have ways to cope with the potential stresses and uncertainties of serving as a sponsor?

Who else should I talk to before deciding to become a host?

Speak to all the people who would be impacted by this commitment, for example your landlord, other members of your household, and other significant people in your life. Make sure that this commitment is practically possible, and that everyone who is directly affected supports the decision.

How do I apply to be a host?

Contact us!