helping people survive and recover from forced displacement by offering shelter and community
Launched in November 2017 and currently serving three residents, Jonathan House provides stable housing, personal capacity-building, and supportive community to asylum seekers. Residents stay at Jonathan House an average of 1-2 years and partner with an IAFR Resident Advocate to receive emotional support and create a personalized roadmap for rebuilding their lives in their new community.
Context: Jonathan House works specifically with asylum seekers, individuals who have made their own way to the USA before requesting the protection of formal refugee status. The US receives more asylum-seekers each year than it does refugees through its resettlement program; this is truer now more than ever.
Up to 1,800 people in Minnesota are currently seeking asylum from war, human rights violations, and political, religious, or social persecution. They come from the most troubled regions of the world in hope of finding safety and a normal life.
Need: Though here lawfully, asylum-seekers are initially not permitted to work nor do they have access to governmental assistance. This leaves them especially vulnerable. Safe, stable housing is one of the most crucial needs in allowing them to recover from forced displacement and begin to rebuild their lives.
The limited number of current metro-area housing options designated for asylum seekers are gender-specific and consistently beyond capacity. Jonathan House’s scattered-site model provides another desperately-needed housing option for asylum seekers and can accommodate individuals or families.
Goal: We have an identified church partner and site for the second Jonathan House site that will allow us to accommodate four more asylum seekers! In 2018, we hope to raise $35,000 to fund set up of this second house plus the first 15 months of operation. We’re also seeking partners to help us raise $26,000 for continued operations of the first Jonathan House.
Strategy: Jonathan House relies on the power of individual, church, and non-profit partners. Church partners in St. Paul provide us with the rental sites to house asylum seekers. Individual volunteers provide a critical relational and emotional support to our residents. We also collaborate with MSP-area asylum service providers to connect residents to important social and legal resources.
Opportunity: Jonathan House is 100% donor-funded. Individual, church, and other financial partners play a vital role in allowing this ministry to continue. Help an asylum seeker in the Twin Cities by giving to the Jonathan House Project today!
Learn more about the challenges of seeking asylum in the USA by listening to this powerful program from The Takeaway (WNYC Studios).
20 Minutes. Audio only. Produced 4/2018.