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Refugee Resettlement

605 S.E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd. • Portland, OR 97214 • Phone: (503) 231-7480 • E-mail

Refugee Resettlement Home

Refugees are proven victims of persecution that flee their homelands in search of hope, justice and a safe place to raise their families.  Most refugees suffer unthinkable tragedy in their homelands and arrive in the U.S. with next to nothing, and knowing no one.  Multicultural Community Services (MCS), a program of LCSNW, is contracted with the U.S Department of State to help refugees rebuild their homes, and their lives. Since 1975, MCS has resettled over 35,000 refugees from all over the world, helping them become self-sufficient and integrated into the culture and community of Multnomah and Washington counties. 

Though refugees have lost everything, they are amazingly resilient and revitalize our communities with fresh ideas, unique strengths, and cultural variety.  

MCS refugee resettlement services include:

  • Reception and Placement & Refugee Case Services
  • Volunteer Opportunities
  • Cash Donations and Donations of furniture and household items

Need assistance? Call: 503-231-7480
Necesitas ayuda? Llame: 503-231-7480
Нужна помощь? Звоните по телефону: 503-231-7480

Reception and Placement

The United States resettles more of the world’s refugees than all other countries combined. Each year, the President determines how many refugees will be approved for refugee status, allowing them to enter the country legally and making them eligible for services that promote self-sufficiency.  The USA resettles refugees from all over the world.  Today, in Portland, most refugees come from Somalia, The Congo, Bhutan, Iraq, Eastern Europe, Burma and Afghanistan. Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, Wyclef Jean, K’Naan, Leon Trotsky, the Dalai Lama, and Andy Garcia were all refugees.

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“Reception and Placement” refers to the services that pertain to a refugee family’s arrival in the U.S., and their transition to becoming contributing members of their community.  In preparation of a refugee family’s arrival, MCS secures housing, furnishings and food. 

Post arrival, MCS case managers refer refugees to the social services that advance them toward self-sufficiency.  These include medical screening, employment programs, job coaching, ESL classes, registering children in school and temporary cash assistance. 
Community volunteers are vital to supporting refugees in their journey toward self-sufficiency and assimilation by providing transportation, shopping help, tutoring, mentoring and valuable companionship!

For more information, please call 503-231-7480

How to Help

There are many heartwarming and rewarding volunteer opportunities that involve working directly with refugee families as they settle in to their new homes and become contributing members of the community. 
Volunteer Opportunities Include:

  • Co-sponsorship:  A group from either a church or an organization that acts as the “welcoming committee” for a new refugee family.  Co-sponsors help prepare for the family’s arrival by setting up the apartment, providing transportation for important appointments during the first 30 days, shopping and providing general companionship and support.
  • Providing Transportation:  Help a new refugee family get to their appointments and learn their way around Portland.  Possibly help them learn to use public transportation
  • Family Mentorship:  a volunteer position designed to ease a refugee family’s transition to their new lives in the Portland area.  The family mentor role is multi-faceted and always evolving as the families served come from such different backgrounds and circumstances.  Both refugee families and mentors learn and grow from this very rewarding relationship.
  • Cash Donations:  Donating money to support refugee programs has never been easier! To make an online donation visit our online donation page. Under the gift designation section of this page, please specify that you want your donation to go to the Portland office.

Donate Your Used Furniture and Household Goods

Moving? Downsizing?  Replacing? We are accepting donations of new and gently used household items and furniture! Your donated household items and furniture will be used to help prepare apartments for newly arrived refugees. AND WE PICK UP!!  We are in need of the following:  

  • Tables and chairs
  • Couches
  • Working Televisions
  • Coffee tables and end tables
  • Linens, blankets, towels
  • Kitchen utensils, pots and pans, silverware, cutlery
  • Lamps

For more information on how you can help, please contact Stefani Bloch at 503-731-9525 or by e-mail