Romero House is home to a vibrant community, made up of refugees, staff, volunteers and neighbours. This community is shaped by our commitment to a certain way of being: by the way in which we seek to welcome refugees and to be good neighbours. What follows is a condensed version of Our Way of Being.
We believe that the refugees who come to Romero House are, in some profound way, our brothers and sisters. Each one has an inherent dignity and is of infinite value. Together, we are part of the human family. It is because of this that we have chosen to welcome the stranger who comes to the door of our lives.
We do not walk for the refugees, but only with them for a little while, so they can eventually walk on their own two feet.
Living with each other, and being with each other as good neighbours, helps us to act for others in a dignifying way. We choose to greet refugees with trust rather than suspicion, trusting in the inner strength and courage of each refugee. We do not ask the refugees we work with to tell us about themselves, except as is necessary in the refugee claimant process.
The work of welcoming refugees is done by a small staff and by a group of interns. We try to do our work with as much competence as possible. This work is done freely and generously, for a small stipend rather than a market salary. We choose to do the very best job possible, not because we are paid to do so, but because human beings deserve nothing less. We see welcoming strangers, becoming neighbours, as a way of life. We want to respect the different religions, cultures, and identities at Romero House. Indeed, we want to celebrate the possibility of building a community that values differences. We want to include everyone in our universe of care and concern without demanding that they become “like us”. Many part-time volunteers also contribute greatly to this challenging and rewarding work.