New London church buys home to welcome refugees

NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) — The house at 25 Jay Street may need some updating, but News 8 is told it has good bones and it also has a whole lot of people behind it hoping to make it a success.

“So as you can see the house has some interesting features,” say Rev. Carolyn Patierno who gives us a tour of the house.

She is the senior minister at the All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church and has high hopes for the house.

“We could have a family here on the first floor another family perhaps on the second floor,” explains Rev. Patierno.

Her congregation bought the house for $85,000 to help welcome refugee families. It will serve as a temporary home as they look for work, a permanent place to live, and get used to a new life.

“They are fleeing violence and trauma and in search for lives that will be safe,” says Rev. Patierno.

All Souls is joined by other churches in this effort including the First Congregational Church of Ledyard which will bring the first refugee family from Syria to the area on Wednesday.

“This is what our country is supposed to be about,” says the reverend.

But there are concerns about who is coming into the country from the war torn land.

“My sense is that a little bit of the backlash that they may experience will be nothing in comparison to what they have left behind,” says Rev. Patierno.

In fact she’s hoping this house will become a home if people throughout the community come together to help. Anyone who wants to help or donate to the cause can contact the church.

“We would be very happy to bring whoever would like to be involved into this circle,” says Patierno.

The location of the house happens to be ideal because it’s right next door to the church which is also on Jay Street in New London. It is expected to be ready for families in August.

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