Pre-Arrival preparation – Housing

Pre-Arrival preparation – Housing

Background: Resettlement Agencies identify initial housing for refugee families based on the number of  family members. Some federal funding is provided; however, donations and volunteers make the  apartment a “home” for newcomers. Good Neighbor teams and Community Mentors are all terms for  volunteer groups that welcome the newcomer. However, it takes a “village” to properly welcome  newcomers. Be sure to advertise the needs to community and civic groups (Rotary, Schools, Churches  etc.…) 

Here is an example of a welcome kit from World Relief. Welcome Kits – Refugees often flee their homes  at a moment’s notice. They arrive at the airport with few belongings. Welcome Kits provide the basic  household items refugees need as they begin a new journey in your community—one we invite you to  join.  


  1. Select a kit from the list below. 
  2. Collect the items (new items only, please). 
  3. Pack in a plastic storage container. 
  4. Include a welcome note for a refugee family (in English and their language).  

Pots (2)
Pans (2)
Baking Sheets (2)
Wooden Cooking Spoons (I) Whisk (l)
Spatula (I)
Can Opener, manual (l) Chef’s Knife (l)
Cutting Board (l)
Plastic Mixing Bowls (3) Food Storage
Containers/Tupperware (4) Dish Drying Rack (1)
Kitchen Towels (2)
Oven Mitt (l)
Hot Pad (2)

Forks, Knives & Spoons (4 of  each)
Plates (4)
Bowls (4)
Cups (4)
Pitcher (l)
Serving Platter (I)
Serving Spoon (l)
Silverware Organizer (I)

Washcloths (4)
Hand Towels (4)
Bath Towels (4)
Shower Curtain (I)
Shower Curtain Hooks/Rings (I set)
Bathmat (l)
Toilet Brush (l)
Toilet Paper (4 rolls)
Small trashcan (1)
Plunger (l)

Shampoo (2 bottles)
Soap (4 bars)
Toothbrushes (4)
Hand Soap (l)
Toothpaste (2 tubes)
Feminine Pads (1 box)
Men’s Deodorant (2)
Women’s Deodorant (2)
Men’s Disposable Razors (I Pack)
Men’s Shaving Cream (l)
Nail Clippers (l)
Hairbrush and Comb (l of each)
Lotion (l bottle)
Band-Aids (1 box)

Suggested Actions Prior to newcomer(s) arrival:

  1. Contact resettlement caseworker and discover what kits/items are still missing from the apartment being set up.
  2. Often community, county and state have local donations centers for furniture, clothing, and other items. Send these information website links to Interlinkt via social media platforms or to so that we can upload them for others to use.
  3. Locate local used clothing sales stores in your area. A visit to these stores may help empower newcomers to adapt to local U.S. Culture.
  4. Visits to local food banks where they can “shop” for their own products also is empowering.

Supporting Documents – Newcomers will need a copy of their rental agreement to apply for a variety of services, such as SNAP, WIC, Social Security Number, and register for school. Make copies of the lease, one for the service being applied for (example…SNAP or WIC) and place one copy in organized document file folder. Scan a copy/pdf (keep in phone) that can be emailed as needed.

Related Websites
1) World Relief Welcome kit – KITS-PDF.pdf
2) Colorado Springs – Clothes –
3) Colorado Springs – Food Pantry –

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