The Harrisonburg Refugee Resettlement office is a branch of Church World Service.  CWS has a deep history of helping those in need, for more information on CWS see their main website here.

Check out this amazing video featuring our office made by JMU students!!!!

The Harrisonburg office has resettled refugees since 1988 from Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia, Burma, Colombia, Congo (Kinshasa), Croatia, Cuba, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Russia, Rwanda, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tajikistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan within a 100 mile radius of our office.

Refugee Resettlement in the United States became formalized when President Jimmy Carter signed the Refugee Act of 1980.  Click here for more information.

The term refugee is a legal term referring to people who have fled their communities fearing death or prosecution because of their race, religion, or political views. Usually they have left their family, friends, community and possessions behind. There are over 14 million legal and registered refugees in the world right now.  Many of them can be resettled in their community or land after a war has ended.  Less than 1% of refugees have no hope of returning to their homeland and need to be resettled in a third country.  We are currently serving refugees from Iraq, Eritrea, Cuba, Colombia, Ukraine, and other countries suffering from civil war and military occupation or those with political asylum status.

We support refugees in their resettlement into the Harrisonburg Community. Our multicultural and multilingual staff walks with, advocates for and guides refugees in areas of housing, employment, health, ESL and education for children. Along with meeting these basic needs we work hard to teach self-sufficiency based on healthy relationships with local people. We work on the basis of a Cooperative agreement with the US State Department.

Our primary goal is to help the refugee form long lasting relationships in the community which become the basis of self-sufficiency.  In order to reach this goal a family must be able to maintain their own basic needs in a sustainable lifestyle. Our program provides a bridge from their former life in their home country to a new set of cultural, linguistic, and practical skills that will enable them to be successful in Harrisonburg. As such we do, at a minimum, the following Core Services in the first month:

1. Safe, clean, and affordable housing
2. Essential furnishings for their new home
3. Food and food allowance
4. Necessary clothing
5. Assistance in health screening and appropriate health programs
6. Assistance in applying for Social Security Cards
7. Registering the children in school
8. Employment training and employment services

We also provide ESL and immigration services.