Helping people survive and recover from forced displacement

Our Mission

We are helping asylum-seekers and refugees survive and recover from forced displacment in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota. We raise awareness among churches concerning the challenges facing these new arrivals.

Jonathan House is our priority ministry in the Twin Cities, through which we are providing temporary shelter, practical help, strategic connections and a welcoming community. We do this in collaboration with local churches, service agencies and the asylum-seekers themselves.

Ministry Context

Although lawfully present in the United States, asylum seekers are initally barred from both employment and governmental assistance - including assistance offered to resettled refugees. This leaves them especially vulnerable. In response, IAFR launched a Twin Cities based ministry seeking to help local churches and agencies better assist asylum-seekers. This is a long neglected need as it has received very little attention from the media and the church in the US.

Minnesota is a leading US state when it comes to the number of refugees being resettled into its communities. Its Somali, Liberian, Ethiopian, Eritrean and Hmong communities are among the largest in the USA.* In recent years the Twin Cities refugee population has become even more diverse as significant numbers of Bhutanese, Karen and Iraqi refugees are resettled here.

*Arrive Ministries
More Information: MN Department of Health

Jonathan House Project

Jonathan House is a project responding to the pressing need for temporary housing among asylum-seekers in Minneapolis/St. Paul. But Jonathan House will offer more than shelter. It will also extend practical help, strategic connections, and a welcoming community with a desire to help our new friends recover from displacement and begin to rebuild their lives.

MN Asylum Network

MN Asylum Network was launched in response to IAFR research in 2015 that surfaced the need for a local network of agencies, churches and individuals seeking the welfare of asylum seekers in the Twin Cities.

The Network formaly launched in April 2016 and is made up of a growing number of organizations and individuals that welcome asylum seekers, many of whom also provide specific kinds of helpful assistance and services.

Collaborative efforts of the network address such issues as basic needs (food, clothing, transportation, housing), medical care, legal representation, housing and mental health resources.

The MN Asylum Network can also connect faith-based and concerned citizen groups with asylum seekers in supportive partnering relationships.

Click here to learn more and connect with MN Asylum Network.

Refugees in the USA

The United States has a long and proud history of providing refuge to victims of religious, political, ethnic, and other forms of persecution. It has committed itself to the principle that everyone has the right to seek and enjoy asylum from persecution. Nonetheless, refugees face strict limitations on services to meet their basic needs, and asylum seekers receive no support upon their arrival in the United States.

The USA is the world's leading country of resettlement for refugees. The USA also receives the second most requests for asylum in the world.

Churches across the country are increasingly recognizing their mandate to welcome and reach out to these new arrivals in their communities. As they do, they discover that the blessing is mutual.

Next Steps

About IAFR
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Ministry Resources

All photos on this website by IAFR.

IAFR | 1515 East 66th Street | Minneapolis, MN  55423 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | 612.200.0321