Community groups are key part of Connecticut refugee effort

Credit: IRIS - Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services Facebook page

Credit: IRIS - Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services Facebook page

NEW LONDON — Community groups have become a key cog in the effort to resettle Syrian and other refugees in Connecticut this year, and that has gained national attention.

The State Department says Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services in New Haven is at the forefront in a return to a co-sponsorship model that has churches and other community organizations taking responsibility for individual refugee families.

Chris George, the agency’s executive director, has been invited to attend President Barack Obama’s summit on the refugee issue on Tuesday and discuss his agency’s efforts, including their co-sponsorship work that now includes 34 different organizations.

IRIS expects to help resettle almost 500 of the 800 refugees who will come to Connecticut this year.