In late June 2016, Hope Acts launched a mentoring program for Hope House residents. We believe in the power of one-to-one relationships to transform participants on both sides of a match. We are excited about the rich opportunities for deeper community engagement, language practice, and fun that a mentoring program can offer residents. As more Mainers enter into genuine relationship with new immigrants, our highest hope is that everyone gains a deeper investment in shifting the political and social climate of Maine toward justice for all our neighbors.
We accept applications for mentors on a rolling basis.
We are currently seeking applications from individuals between the ages of 35 and 55 who are interested in serving as mentors.
Read more about the program below and complete an online application here.
- Seeking: Compassionate and committed residents in Greater Portland who are 30 or older to mentor Hope House residents (immigrants who are seeking asylum) and walk alongside them as they build a new life in Maine. Personal and/or professional experience working with immigrant people desired, but not required.
- What is Hope House? House House, located in the Parkside neighborhood of Portland, is the only residential program in New England dedicated solely to serving asylum-seekers. In addition to providing safe, stable housing, Hope House offers support and referrals to residents focusing on four key areas: English language acquisition, legal support toward their asylum case, work authorization and securing employment, and making mutually beneficial social connections with Americans and fellow immigrants. Hope House is a program of Hope Acts.
- Who Lives at Hope House? All residents are individuals over the age of 18 who are seeking asylum from circumstances of persecution in their home countries. Asylum seekers hold a particularly liminal immigration status that does not afford them federal support. 13 residents live in Hope House at a time, arriving from countries like Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Rwanda, Cote D’Ivoire, and Iraq. Residents have ranged in age from 20 years old to mid-50s and have had a wide array of educational, professional, and personal backgrounds. All have hoped to build a life of safety, peace, and economic security in the United States. Length of stay varies from 6 months to 2 years, depending on their asylum case.
- foster a sense of personal empowerment,
- increase engagement with Greater Portland’s people and community resources,
- support a resident in making progress toward individually-set goals pertaining to English language acquisition, independent living, and career development.
- Act as a resource and guide to daily life in Portland and Maine
- Practice English through regular, informal conversation
- Serve as an “accountabili-buddy” as resident strives to reach benchmarks related to learning English, seeking employment, and transitioning to independent living
- When possible, facilitate connections with people in your mentee’s fields of professional and personal interest
- Accompany resident in navigating and becoming familiar with community resources (e.g. public library, METRO bus, grocery stores, etc.)
- Explore and attend fun activities and events together
Expectations for Mentors:
- Commitment of 2 hours weekly for 6 months
- Uphold Hope Acts’ core values of honesty, respect, mutuality, faithfulness, and action
- Focus on exchanges and activities that align with resident’s interests & aspirations
- Respect appropriate boundaries & privacy about resident’s past and current personal life
- Practice cultural humility that invites learning through difference & miscommunication, rather than seeking to ‘correct’ perceptions or behavior
What Mentors Can Expect From Hope Acts:
- Training in boundaries, roles of mentoring, cultural humility, and trauma sensitivity
- Insight into the asylum seeking process
- Monthly mentor peer support circle
- Ongoing support from the Coordinator for Immigrant Support
- Regular informal & formal appreciation
Interested? Here’s how to apply!
- Complete the online application.
- Applicants will be contacted by the Coordinator for Immigrant Support via phone or email shortly thereafter to discuss program needs & potential fit, which may lead to an interview with Hope Acts staff.
- All accepted mentors must attend an orientation & training session before placement with a match.