Our History

Who We Are

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 program 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 Elisabeth 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. Learn more at RCHP-AHC.org.

How We Started12243460_1357148140978352_8965532123794654168_n

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 our initial months, we set up several apartments for recent refugees and provided moving assistance. In February we received our first family (a Congolese family of six), and then our second (an Afghani family of two). We also welcomed a number of asylees: three from Syria, two from Nigeria, one from Pakistan, one from Ghana, and one from Cameroon.

Since the beginning of 2016, we have solidified our resettlement effort into the program Interfaith-RISE. This fall the State Department designated us an officially approved resettlement site. The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants will send vetted refugees and immigrants to Interfaith-RISE. We have agreed to take 50 refugees (probably 13-14 families) in the next year, resettling them into NJ.