Our Mission and General Services

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Our Mission

The Refugee Support Center is a volunteer-based organization established to facilitate the transition of local refugees to a new life in our community by providing services, helping with access to resources, and teaching skills to promote self-sufficiency.

What We Do

  • Assist all refugees in Orange County with access to services and providers
  • Foster a greater understanding among agencies and groups of the refugee community in Orange County
  • Facilitate refugees’ transition to life in the United States by helping them become self-sufficient and productive members of American society while maintaining their cultural and ethnic identities
  • Advocate for refugees’ needs and interests

Our Services

Services scheduled on an ongoing basis include after-school  tutoring, citizenship and English classes as well as monthly distributions of food and diapers. However, the majority of refugees come to us on an “as needed” basis for a variety of services that include, but are not limited to:

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Advocacy:  working with public and private agencies to ensure welcoming and fair practices and access

Collaboration: working  with other agencies and groups that assist refugees

Community outreach: making presentations to community organizations to foster understanding of the local refugee population

Employment: conducting web searches and phone calls to find available jobs, helping  fill out applications, practicing interviews, advocating with employers to hire refugees

Enrichment for children: partnering with community resources to enable children to attend summer camps, participate in soccer and karate programs, take piano lessons, etc.

Financial Literacy: assisting to open bank accounts, write checks, balance monthly statements, deal with taxes, prevent identity theft, other security matters

Health care access: making appointments, providing transportation, arranging for a volunteer to accompany refugee if requested; helping with bill questions, understanding medication instructions

Photo Natz classHousing: assisting with applications to public housing, Habitat for Humanity, Community Home Trust; finding apartments, acquiring furnishings, and explaining leases and the process for buying a home

Immigration Legal Services: completing and submitting applications for refugees seeking green cards, citizenship, or family reunification to bring immediate family members to the US; accompanying applicants to USCIS appointments if requested; providing citizenship classes

Pro Bono Law Clinic: helping refugees navigate our legal system and assisting with legal matters including family law (custody, divorce, domestic violence), wills, traffic citations, and home purchases; a pro bono attorney is available one afternoon a week

 Liaison with local schools: explaining forms and letters from school, accompanying parents to meetings if requested, orientation to schools and college application process

Partnerships: developing community partners to enhance and expand our services

Revolving Loan Fund: providing financial assistance for emergency rent or other unforeseen expenses through no-interest loans

Translation/Interpretative Services: assisting other agencies in translating documents or providing face-to-face interpreters, (except for medical interpretation)

Transportation: helping get to appointments and agencies, teaching bus schedules, studying for Learner’s Permit tests, applying for Driver’s License

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