It is at ‘Soft Landing in Missoula’ where refugees are welcomed with open arms
It is due to conflict or may be for natural disaster, more than 45 million people worldwide have been uprooted from home; but still refugees are not welcome everywhere. Things turned out to be beautiful when a resident of Missoula in Montana, Mary Poole and her book club decided to make a change by welcoming refugee families into their homes. Poole’s nonprofit Soft Landing in Missoula is providing support to the refugees from across the world in a politically conservative state where only 107 refugees have been resettled since 2001.
Soft Landing Missoula is focused on building a sustainable effort to engage the community in helping refugees integrate and thrive well into the future. It is focused on building a sustainable effort to engage the community in helping refugees integrate and thrive well into the future.
Before co-founding Soft Landing, I didn’t even know what a refugee was. I didn’t know what resettlement was; I had no context, said Poole.
Soft Landing Missoula consists of two part-time staff members, coordinates volunteers to support incoming refugees, including families that help place refugees to their new home and connect them to their neighbors. Since August 2016, 117 refugees, which is more than the total number resettled in the entire state over the past 16 years, have been resettled in Missoula from the places like Iraq, Syria, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.