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Refugee Resettlement Services

3600 Main Street, Suite 200 • Vancouver, WA 98663  • (360) 694-5624 • E-Mail

Refugee Resettlement Services

photoLutheran Community Services has provided refugee resettlement services in the Northwest since 1975! Our refugee resettlement programs have helped over 35,000 refugees to get a new start in the USA. The Vancouver Washington refugee program was founded in 1994, and has helped thousands of refugees to become self-sufficient and integrated into the culture and community of Clark County. The Vancouver Refugee Resettlement Program has a unique, client-focused wrap around model. This means that we walk with refugees nearly every step of the way – from the minute they set foot in Vancouver to their first job, and beyond.


Refugees bring fresh ideas, unique strengths, and cultural variety to our community. Though refugees have lost everything, they have a chance to recover and begin a new life in the USA. They contribute to our community as doctors, small business owners, social services workers, pharmacists, and other professions.

Our Refugee Resettlement Services are categorized under the following programs:

  • Refugee Reception and Placement Program (R&P)
  • Refugee Resettlement Assistance Program (RRA)
Need assistance? Call: 360 694-5624
¿Necesitas ayuda? Llame: 360 694-5624
Нужна помощь? Звоните по телефону: 360 694-5624
Reception and Placement Program (R&P)

Need assistance? Call: 360 694-5624
¿Necesitas ayuda? Llame: 360 694-5624
Нужна помощь? Звоните по телефону: 360 694-5624

The United States resettles more of the world’s refugees than all other countries combined. Each year, the President sets an upper limit to the number of refugees that may enter the country legally. Usually, this number is somewhere near 70,000; the actual number of refugees resettled in the USA varies greatly. The USA has resettled refugees and asylees from Somalia, Bhutan, Iraq, the Soviet Union, Burma, and Congo. Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, Wyclef Jean, K’Naan, Leon Trotsky, the Dalai Lama, and Andy Garcia were all refugees.

photoRefugee resettlement is a long and complicated process, and refugees have been through years of waiting and background checks by the time they are admitted into the USA. Before they arrive to the country, the R&P case manager prepares for their arrival. This includes looking for an apartment, collecting donations of furniture and household items, scheduling medical appointments, and scheduling an intake appointment with the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services.

After a refugee family arrives, the R&P case manager signs them up for English as a Second Language classes, enrolls the children in school, enrolls the parents in pre-employment classes, and ensures that the family receives a refugee medical screening. The refugees receive temporary financial assistance while they work toward employment. Community volunteers help by providing transportation, tutoring, and even opening their homes to refugees!

For more information, call (360) 694-5624 ext. 30

Refugee Resettlement Assistance Program (RRA)

Need Assistance? Call Olga Shapoval at (360) 694-5624 ext. 20
¿Necesitas ayuda? Llame a Olga Shapoval (360) 694-5624 ext. 20
звоните Ольге Шаповал по телефону (360) 694-5624, доб 20
هل انت بحاجة الى مساعدة؟ يرجى الاتصال بمديرة الحالة اولغا شابوفال (هاتف 3606945624 تحويلة 20)

The Refugee Resettlement Assistance Program provides social services referral and immigration assistance services for refugees that are either disabled, over the age of 55, or have lived in the USA for less than 4 years or 48 months. The RRA program provides the following services for refugees:

  • School enrollment for children
  • Assistance with the legal permanent resident application (I-485)
  • Help accessing State and Federal Energy and Telephone assistance.
  • Legal referral
  • Helping to book medical and dental appointments
  • Assistance with the application for Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Other services

Additionally, the RRA program provides self-sufficiency workshops to help refugees learn the basics of living in the USA. Workshop topics include but are not limited to:

  • Financial Literacy
  • Banking
  • Nutrition
  • Transportation
  • Cultural Orientation
  • Taxes
  • Family Law
  • Job Searching and Employment
photoWhat You Can Do To Help

Refugees are uprooted, torn from their homes and families, and inundated with the pressures of transition. They must learn to adjust and navigate within a foreign culture and language. Refugees without family or friends in the community find themselves in the greatest need, as they lack immediate social and financial support.

Thankfully, each year, volunteers and donors make a commitment to befriend and support refugees in our community. Through their donations of time, household items, and cash resources, we are able to better serve refugees and to ensure that they are fully supported during their challenging first months in the USA.

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 Vancouver office.

Donate Your Used Furniture
Are you recycling your furniture? Upgrading to something new? We are accepting donations of new household items and gently used furniture! Your donated household items and furniture will be used to help prepare apartments for newly arrived refugees. We accept used furniture in good condition, such as:

  • Beds
  • Tables and chairs
  • Couches
  • Working Televisions
  • Armchairs

IMPORTANT! before requesting pickup, read our Policies and Conditions

photoVolunteer
Volunteering to help refugees is fun and rewarding. A variety of volunteer positions are available depending on your interests, skills, and time availability.

Volunteer English Tutors  (360) 694-5624 ext. 26
Help to make a difference in the life of a refugee or refugee family by teaching them English. This is a great way to practice your skills and gain experience as and English as a Second Language instructor. This is an ongoing position requiring a six month commitment. English Tutors meet with their students at least once a week for 1.5-2 hours.

Appointment Drivers (360) 694-5624 ext. 23
Driving refugees to appointments is a fun and low-pressure way to get to know people from other countries. All you have to do is drive them to an appointment, and then drive them home! Mileage reimbursement is available for approved transportation to appointments at medical clinics, the Department of Social and Human Services, and other locations. A valid driver’s license and good driving record is required.

Refugee Mentor (360) 694-5624 ext. 23
Being a refugee mentor is one of the most fun, rewarding, and eye-opening experiences available in the Vancouver area. It is similar to English Tutoring, but less academic, more hands-on, and more fluid. As a refugee mentor, you will spend 3 hours each week with a refugee family. During this time, you might take the family to the park, grocery store, bank, or maybe even just spend time around the house. You’ll practice your non-verbal communication skills and help individuals learn a lot of conversational English in the process.

Hire a Refugee!

Bring a Great New Teammember On-Board With Your Organization!
Think about your first job. Was it a great job? Probably not, but it meant a lot to you because it was your first step toward independence and self-sufficiency. Everyone has to start somewhere! Refugees coming in to Clark County and seeking employment have the same motivation you had when you got that first job! They bring unique skills, cultural strengths, and a hardworking attitude to everything they do. They want to make a difference for our community and do an excellent job for your company.

With our ongoing case management and support services, we will help you train and orient refugees to the job - minimizing safety risks and ensuring that refugees are prepared for the work. We will provide extended case management and ongoing communication with your new employees to make sure that you have no challenges or issues. We provide this service for free!

Need assistance? Call: 360 694-5624
¿Necesitas ayuda? Llame: 360 694-5624
Нужна помощь? Звоните по телефону: 360 694-5624