Bethany Christian Services to Expand Refugee Resettlement Programs After New Designation as Voluntary Resettlement Agency

November 16, 2022

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Bethany Christian Services today announced its designation as a national voluntary resettlement agency, joining nine other national resettlement organizations helping refugees seeking safety in the United States. In recognition of Bethany’s work, the organization has been approved by the U.S. Department of State’s Federal Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) as the tenth national refugee resettlement agency, allowing for expanded resettlement programs across the country.

“Bethany Christian Services has partnered with refugee resettlement organizations for more than 20 years to help refugees begin a new life in the United States. This designation will allow us to expand our vital resettlement programs in order to serve more vulnerable children and families during the largest refugee crisis in history,” said Tawnya Brown, Senior Vice President of Global, Refugee, and Immigrant Services. “As our work grows, our mission at Bethany remains the same: to ensure everyone–from every place, background, and life experience–feels safe, loved, and connected.”

Voluntary Resettlement Agencies have entered into agreements with the U.S. Department of State to provide services for refugees who arrive in the United States. Bethany is now the tenth agency to offer receiving and placement services to refugees.

“Since our resettlement programs began, we’ve supported over 17,000 refugees from all over the world, including 750 Afghan evacuees in the past year. As more than 100 million people across the globe have been displaced from their homes by violence, poverty, and persecution, we will continue meeting the ever-growing needs of our neighbors,” said Liz van Zyl, Vice President of Government Affairs at Bethany Christian Services. “We especially want to thank our partner organizations who have worked alongside us in the shared mission to meet the needs of those desperately seeking safety for themselves and their families.”

Since Bethany’s beginning in 1944, the organization has grown to become a nationally respected service provider for vulnerable children and families, growing organically to meet the needs of emerging at-risk populations both in the United States and overseas. Bethany’s refugee and immigrant foster care programs began in the 1970s, expanding into residential care in 2008.