Interfaith-RISE (Refugee and Immigrant Services & Empowerment) is a multi-faith, multi-congregational, multi-racial organization committed to welcoming the stranger in central New Jersey.
Interfaith-RISE is an official affiliate site of the US Committee for Refugees & Immigrants. We are committed to resettling refugees in central NJ, assisting asylum seekers before and after release from Elizabeth Detention Center, and supporting local faith and civic groups as they advocate for and work with refugees in their communities. Interfaith-RISE assists with housing, ESL, social services, education, medical assistance, mental health services, transportation, and supportive community integration as families and individuals journey towards self-sufficiency and independence. Interfaith-RISE is a program of the Reformed Church of Highland Park Affordable Housing Corporation, a non-profit organization that provides supportive housing to low-income individuals with special needs.
In response to the global refugee crisis, a small group of concerned people from central NJ, representing congregations of many faiths, created a refugee resettlement organization in the fall of 2015. From the beginning, we decided to make this an intentionally interfaith effort. Our kick-off walk-a-thon, held in early November, raised enough money to get us started. In February we received our first families and later that year we also welcomed a number of asylees.
Since the beginning of 2016, we have solidified our resettlement effort into the program Interfaith-RISE. The State Department designated us an officially approved resettlement site. The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) sends vetted refugees and immigrants to Interfaith-RISE.
In 2017, a year of tremendous challenge to the Refugee Resettlement Program in the United States, we successfully resettled 44 refugees and individuals with Special Immigrant Visa (SIVs) and helped five asylees find their first housing and get settled. This year, USCRI has approved us for 100 refugees and SIVs for the fiscal year 2017-2018 (which started on October 1). As of June 2018, we've resettled just over two dozen.