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Opportunities for Welcome: Lessons Learned for Supporting People Seeking Asylum in Chicago, Denver, New York City, and Portland, Maine


In 2023, the Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC) engaged in research and monitoring in four US cities, New York City; Portland, Maine; Denver; and Chicago, where we identified key best practices and challenges in welcoming and supporting people seeking asylum in US communities. In this report, WRC makes comprehensive recommendations to local and state governments, relevant federal government agencies and actors, and philanthropic institutions on actions that these various bodies can and should take to move beyond crisis framing and rapid response to the design and implementation of sustainable policies and practices to support people seeking asylum and other vulnerable people in need of shelter and basic services in US communities. As stakeholders across all four cities that we visited emphasized, the arrival of people seeking asylum and other forms of protection in the US is a durable phenomenon that requires long-term, flexible, and sustainable solutions that enable whole communities to thrive.

United States North America Migrant Asylum Detention and Separation Livelihoods Preparedness/Resilience Economic Empowerment and Self-Reliance Rights and Justice Reports