The 1951 Refugee Convention defines a refugee as someone who "owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country."

In layman's terms, a refugee doesn't have a home or a country. There is almost certain persecution or even death awaiting she or he upon return to her or his country of origin.

The United States government issues approximately 80,000 refugee visas per year. Though this is a drop in the bucket compared to the estimated 60 million refugees worldwide, every life matters. The government then uses nonprofit agencies to assist in resettling refugees in various locations across our country. Northwest Indiana currently has no agencies partnering with the government in this deeply needed, compassionate response. The Welcome Network, in partnership with World Relief, is investigating the capacity of Northwest Indiana as a potential settlement site.