frequently Asked Questions
| New American Pathways
WHAT DOES NEW AMERICAN PATHWAYS DO?
New American Pathways is an Atlanta based nonprofit with the mission of Helping Refugees and Georgia Thrive. Our vision is for new Americans in metro Atlanta to become successful, contributing, and welcomed members of Georgia’s communities. We fulfill our goals by offering the most comprehensive, fully integrated continuum of services targeted to meet the specific needs of refugees and other immigrants in Georgia.
We are a refugee resettlement organization but also provide extensive services outside of the initial resettlement case management for newly arrived refugees. Our services support new Americans on their individual pathways from arrival through citizenship with programs that focus on four key milestones along the pathway – Safety & Stability, Self-Sufficiency, Success, and Service. Programs work in concert to guide new Americans on their individual pathways to long-term success.
HOW IS NEW AMERICAN PATHWAYS FUNDED?
Each program at New American Pathways has specific funding from federal, state, local and/or private sources. Our organization is 58% publicly funded and 42% privately funded.
| REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT
WHAT IS A REFUGEE, WHAT DOES REFUGEE STATUS MEAN?
The United Nations Definition of a refugee is “A refugee is someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war or violence. A refugee has a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group. Most likely, they cannot return home or are afraid to do so. War and ethnic, tribal and religious violence are leading causes of refugees fleeing their countries.”
Refugee status in the United States means that a refugee has applied for resettlement abroad and has been granted the opportunity to resettle here. Refugee status is a type of immigrant documentation in the United states.
HOW DO REFUGEES GET HERE?
After an individual flees their home county and is identified as a refugee by the United Nations, if given the opportunity, they may apply for resettlement in the United States. What follows is a rigorous screening process (link to that resource) that can take two or more years to complete. After they are accepted, they are assigned an agency and location for resettlement, and then are booked to travel to their new home. Refugees’ airfare costs are a loan and they are expected to pay back their travel in a timely manner.
WHAT IS REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT IN THE UNITED STATES?
After a refugee is approved for resettlement in the United States and travels to their new city, a resettlement organization like New American Pathways greets them at the airport and helps them settle into their new home. This includes securing housing, basic needs, registering children for school and adults for ESL, and helping adults find their first job. The initial resettlement period is 90 days but all refugees are expected to be fully self sufficient- working and paying their own expenses- by 180 days post arrival. New American Pathways helps refugees in those initial days and beyond.
HOW DO REFUGEES GET TO GEORGIA?
After a refugee undergoes the screening process (link to the resource) and is accepted into the United States resettlement program, their case is assigned to a national resettlement organization (also known as a VOLAG or RA). New American Pathways has a partnership with one of those organizations, Church World Service (CWS). CWS assigns new cases to each of their affiliate organizations across the country. If a refugee has a family member or close friend in Georgia, called a U.S. Tie, they can indicate that in their application process, which will allow them to be resettled in Georgia to be close to their U.S. Tie. When New AP receives a case, we accept it and wait for notification of travel.
WHAT IS GEORGIA’S RELATIONSHIP WITH REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT?
Refugee resettlement has existed in Georgia since the program was established in 1980 and has a strong tradition of welcoming newcomers to our state.
| GETTING INVOLVED
That’s wonderful! We rely on many employers in the metro Atlanta area to employ refugees. As a general rule, we help refugees find employment local to their community, which for the majority of them is metro Atlanta. We do not assist in job placements outside of Georgia or driving distance from the Clarkston area. However, we encourage all potential employers to call our main office or fill out this inquiry form and one of our employment team members will be in touch.
HOW DO I VOLUNTEER?
Volunteers are incredibly important to the work we do at New AP. We have opportunities for individuals, families, and groups to volunteer. The process includes an orientation, application, and a background check. To begin the volunteer process and learn about our current opportunities, check out our volunteer page here.
HOW DO I DONATE TO NEW AMERICAN PATHWAYS?
Donations from individuals and groups are incredibly important to sustaining the work we do at New American Pathways. You can give a financial gift here or contact us (email to Nancy) to learn more about our major giving program, the Freedom Circle. We also accept in kind donations for our clients. Our Amazon Wish Lists have current needs and you can also check out our in-kind donation page to see the many different types of in-kind donations we are currently accepting.
I WANT TO DO RESEARCH ON REFUGEES/CLARKSTON/IMMIGRATION. CAN YOU HELP ME?
We are very happy that individuals are so interested in understanding the refugee community and city of Clarkston. We believe in the value of such research, but we are unable to accommodate all requests to connect researchers to our refugee clients and staff. Project requests are limited to current interns, partners, and volunteers. We encourage researchers and students to reach out to any of the community organizations in Clarkston or to dedicate time to volunteering to begin to learn about the community.
I WANT TO SPONSOR OR HOUSE A REFUGEE. HOW CAN I DO THIS?
New American Pathways previously partnered with groups to do what are called co-sponsorships- where a community group provided many of the services for new refugee families. Due to the dramatic decrease in refugee arrivals over the past several years, we no longer offer co-sponsorships. But if your group would like to volunteer and help newly arriving refugee families, check out our group volunteer opportunities and reach out to use directly on ways you can partner with us.
Regarding housing new refugee families, the goal of the refugee resettlement program is for new families to become self sufficient and to have a permanent place to call home. As such, we help new families secure their own rental housing and do not presently offer opportunities for individuals to host refugees in their homes. However, if you are a landlord or have contacts with rental properties, contact us to talk about ways we may be able to partner, as we are always looking for safe, affordable housing for our new families.