Our Mission and General Services


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, assisting 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 in-home tutoring, citizenship classes and English language instruction as well as free lunch distribution to school age refugees during the summer. 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.

Finances: 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: 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

Legal: 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

Paperwork assistance: completing forms and applications

Partnerships: developing community partners to enhance and expand our services

Phone calls: making calls, listening to and interpreting phone messages

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