Our Mission

“What is at stake is nothing less than the survival and well-being of a generation of innocents”
-António Guterres, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Ithaca Welcomes Refugees (IWR) is a volunteer-led initiative, founded in December 2015, as a result of collective community reaction to the global refugee crisis.  IWR works to foster a welcoming and fair environment for refugees and at-risk immigrants in our region. 

What We Do

Services and activities are designed to continue the development of Ithaca as a welcoming host community and include:

  • apartment set up and basic needs support
  • cultural and community orientation
  • financial assistance for resettlement and emergency support
  • education for the community on refugee and immigrant issues
  • fundraising and training for volunteers

Key Initiatives

In addition to ongoing activities, IWR actively works to address the long-term programming to address gaps in local community services, with the goal of reducing existing barriers to the integration and empowerment of refugees and at-risk immigrants.

IWR launched Global Roots Play School (GRPS) in fall 2017 to address a gap in convenient, affordable childcare for students of English language classes, making it feasible for students, very often mothers, to attend English class at BOCES nearby. This empowers students to engage in the community and seek employment. Response Projects focus on responding to the specialized needs of both newly arrived refugee families and at-risk immigrants who have lived in the Ithaca area for a longer period.

Ithaca Welcomes Refugees is a proud member of Welcoming America.

Welcoming America