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Status active
Type Agency
Denomination N/A
Contact Info RefugeeOne, 4752 North Broadway, Suite 401, Chicago, IL 60647. Phone: 773-989-5647. Fax: 773-989-0484. Website:

Community Description:

RefugeeOne, located in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood, has a national reputation for its success in helping refugees fleeing war, terror, and persecution to build new lives of safety, dignity, and self-reliance. 

RefugeeOne partners with hundreds of faith communities, volunteers, and community groups to give refugees the welcome they deserve – greeting them at the airport, providing keys to a furnished home, helping them learn English, and connecting them to their first jobs. Every year, RefugeeOne helps approximately 2,500 clients with a range of programs to help them build the foundation for a flourishing, self-reliant life in the U.S.

Since 1982, RefugeeOne has helped more than 15,000 refugees from 75 countries build new lives in Chicago. Last year, RefugeeOne resettled 451 refugees from as widely divergent places as Iraq, Sudan, Burma, Bhutan, the Congo, and Eritrea. More than 25% were children. The refugees’ education levels varied depending on their country of origin. All were low-income and 28% had no ties in the United States, meaning they had no additional support beyond RefugeeOne to ease their adjustment process.

In addition, RefugeeOne supports about 2,000 recent arrivals each year through our youth, employment, mental health, and other programs. Most clients live in Rogers Park, Uptown, and nearby neighborhoods on the North side. 

Position Description:

You will be instrumental in building church awareness about RefugeeOne and engaging people in our work.

  • Learn in-depth about refugee resettlement: from clergy who have been active in the ministry for decades; from case workers and volunteers who walk alongside refugees each day; and by mentoring a refugee during their first months in the U.S.
  • Speak at church services and church committee meetings about ways they can “welcome the stranger in their midst”
  • Renew and create partnerships with Chicagoland churches (including Presbyterian, Lutheran, Episcopal, Methodist, Baptist, Disciples of Christ, UCC and other denominations) to become co-sponsors of refugee families
  • Help equip volunteer “Ambassadors” to speak knowledgeably about refugees and how community groups can welcome them
  • Reach out to churches to incorporate refugee ministry in their worship services on World Refugee Sunday in June and throughout the year

Skills to be developed: community organizing, program development, public speaking, outreach, addressing diversity issues

We are seeking someone with:

  • Great acumen with people and teams
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Proactive, independent work style and strong project management skills
  • Creativity
  • Computer skills, including Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel, and Power Point
  • Willingness to speak at churches 1-2 weekends per month
  • Passion for social justice



Sara Spoonheim, Director of Development, has 20 years leadership and fundraising experience in primarily faith-based non-profits. After developing award-winning affordable housing for low-income families in Montana, Sara moved to Chicago to attend North Park Theological Seminary in 2001. For more than ten years, she has helped Chicago non-profits, including Faith in Place, Bethel New Life, and Interfaith Worker Justice, significantly expand and diversify their communities of support. Sara holds Masters degrees in theology and community development from North Park Theological Seminary and a B. A. in Economics from Connecticut College. She is a member of Resurrection Lutheran Church in Chicago.

As a supervisor, Sara is invested in helping people grow, learn, and contribute meaningfully in their work. She invests in building teams who think creatively and support one another. She is an advocate for work-life balance for all employees.


RefugeeOne is in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood on Lake Michigan, about 13 miles North of Hyde Park. It is easily accessible on the CTA red line (Lawrence stop) or by driving up Lake Shore Drive.