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General Resources

scroll below for a variety of categories

If you have a question you don't see addressed below, please email Fatein Mahmoud who is our Co-President and heavily involved in refugee work through the Portland Refugee Support Group. He is also available for arabic translation needs.


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RCO's mission is to use technology to help refugees rebuild their lives in the U.S. To that end, the RCO user can select one of 45 languages and information on the website will automatically be translated to that. 


This is an excellent resource directory compiled by Lutheran Family Services that aims at consolidating the resources available to serve the needs of the refugee and immigrant community.


Maintains a comprehensive directory of culturally specific nonprofits and faith based organizations and government programs that serve immigrants and refugees in the Portland area.


Benefits

African Youth & Community Organization (AYCO)

1390 SE 122nd St. Ave, Portland, OR 97233 | 971-254-8916 | info@aycoworld.org
AYCO health care and disability services aim to bridge the gaps in services experienced by new
immigrants. AYCO staff provides knowledgeable guidance through health care and disability resources,
with understanding of the language and culture of those seeking this support.

Central City Concern

727 W Burnside, Portland, OR 97209 | 503-228-4533
Benefits And Entitlements Specialist Team. Helps people access the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits to which they may be entitled. 

IRCO

Helps Refugees with their health insurance applications

Refugee and Immigration Services and Empowerment (RISE)

1020 SW Taylor Suite 500, Portland, OR 97205 | Cheryl Coon, Executive Director | 971-270-0755
Formerly known as Refugee Disability Benefits of Oregon, RISE's attorneys work with refugee and immigrant families and their health care providers, case managers and counselors to obtain disability benefits, including application. RISE also works with disabled refugees and their family members to empower them to deal with bureaucracies and to find culturally responsive healthcare providers and vocational counselors/job developers.

Clothing

Beaverton School District Clothes Closet
16550 SW Merlo Rd., Beaverton, OR 97006 | 503-591-4443
Free clothing for students in grades K-12 from families with limited income. Open daily, 10:00am-7:00pm.

Beaverton Seventh-Day Adventist
14645 SW Davis Road, Beaverton, OR 97007 | 503-646-9828
Clients can walk in during open hours to access clothes closet. Tuesday, 9:00am-12:00pm and 12:30pm-2:00pm

Community Warehouse
3969 NE MLK Jr. Blvd., Portland, OR 97212 & 8380 SW Nyberg St, Tualatin, OR 97062 | 503-235-8786
Non Profit Organization that collects donated household goods and furnishings and redistributes them to neighbors in need.

Dress For Success Oregon
1532 NE 37th Ave, Portland, OR 97232 | 503-249-7300
The mission of Dress for Success is to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the developmental tools to help women thrive in work and in life.

Fish Emergency Service
1335 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97214 | 503-233-5533
Clothing for families in need. Items provided include emergency food boxes, clothing, and personal care products. Call for hours of operation.

Holy Trinity Catholic Church
13715 SW Walker Rd., Beaverton, OR 97005 | 503-641-1842
Come to church and request access to clothes closet.

Pregnancy Resource Center
13053 SE 84th Ave., Clackamas, OR 97015 | 503-659-3336
Baby and maternity clothes, baby toys and furnishings. Additional pregnancy related services such as pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, parenting classes, referrals for medical care and more.

Education

African Youth and Community Organization (AYCO)

1390 SE 122nd St. Ave, Portland, OR 97233 | 971-254-8916 | info@aycoworld.org
AYCO offers academic programs such as computer literacy, homework help, and tutoring, citizenship classes for adults, and ESL classes. AYCO 's youth coordinators bridge the gap between youth, schools and parents. AYCO hosts parent groups that promote understanding of school expectations.

Cool Islam

Cool Islam is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization whose mission is to educate, empower and establish youth regardless of race, religion, color and gender. Cool Islam offers a number of educational programs such as after school homework help,  ESL tutoring and career coaching. For a complete list, see their website.

IRCO's Children Programs

Contact: Danita Huynh, danitah@irco.org, 971-271-6500
One of the things this program does is help with kindergarten readiness and transition.

IRCO'S P-3 Pilot Program

IRCO is excited to be an active partner in the new P-3 (prenatal through 3rd grade) pilot program. The p-3 program will enhance the ability to engage culturally diverse parents in school settings. P-3 staff will focus on including and supporting families of color and families who speak languages other then English. 

IRCO'S Youth Programs

Lyn Tan, lynt@irco.org |  971-271-6565
Ellen Parker, ellenp@irco.org | 971-271-6560

Youth Programs ensure that students (ages 6+) receive a quality education to overcome the obstacles that perpetuate inequality and poverty. From one-on-one mentoring, tutoring, academic advocacy and after school activities, to gang prevention and intervention for at-risk youth, IRCO provides culturally and linguistically specific support to help close the achievement gap, improve third grade reading, ease middle school transitions, and increase the number of youth graduating from high school and pursuing college or career opportunities.

Portland ESL Network

Search by interactive map to find an English program near you.

Portland Community College Sylvania campus

Arabic handout for ESL students

Portland State University Four Years Free

Portland State University will cover standard tuition and fees if you:

  • Are a resident of Oregon
  • Graduated from an Oregon high school
  • Enter as a first-year freshman in fall term
  • Have a cumulative, unweighted high school GPA of 3.4 or higher
  • Receive a Federal Pell Grant
  • Enroll full-time (12-15 credits per term)
  • Submit FAFSA by Feb 1st

Multnomah County School Impact (MCSI)

IRCO, 1031 NE Glisan, Portland, OR 97220
Provides newly arrived refugee children and parents with assistance in school enrollment, orientation to the U.S. school system and summertime ESL.

Newcomer Scholarship

MRG Foundation Office, P.O. Box 12489, Portland, Oregon 97212 or 411 NE 19th Ave., Bld. 1, 1st Fl.
Portland, Oregon 97232 | 503-289-1517 | Attn: Carol Tatch (specify Newcomer Scholarship fund in any correspondence)

People who come to the Portland area from other countries are eager to enter the workforce. For many, it's challenge to earn a college degree--not because they lack the will, but because they can't afford the costs. The Newcomer Scholarship is intended to help Portland-area immigrants earn their degrees.

Refugee Center Online

Offers links to scholarships for refugees, GED courses and more.

School Assistance for Refugee Newcomers (SAFRN)

SAFRN provides educational support services to refugee newcomers and their schools. SAFRN program staff speak many languages that represent the diverse ethnic groups served. SAFRN brings students, parents and teachers together with orientation, translation and concentrated help both academically and socially. SAFRN also offers summer programming that includes literacy in basic skills and school readiness. SAFRN is a collaborative program of LCSNW that partners with Catholic Charities, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, and IRCO. It provides educational services to schools in the Portland tri-county area that are impacted by refugee arrivals.

Employment

FAQ

Q. Where can we get employment and career information for the refugee?
A. There are a number of places that hold job fairs and career days:

  1. IRCO 10301 NE Glisan St. Portland, OR 97220 | (503) 234-1541
  2. Beaverton FourSquare Church 13565 SW Walker Road, Beaverton, Oregon 97005 | 503.644.9104
  3. Urban League of Portland 10 N Russell St, Portland OR 97227, recruitment@ulpdx.org | 503-280-2600
  4. Business for a Better Portland503-866-9191
  5. Good Will Job Connection1943 SE Sixth Ave, PDX, OR 97214 | 503-238-6100

IRCO Employment Programs

10301 NE Glisan Street, Portland, OR
Go to IRCO website to get more information on the following programs:

Career Pathway Training & Employment Programs
Leisl Wehmueller, careerpoint@irco.org, 971-271-6461

Immigrant Nurse Credentialing Program
Cathy Boucher, catherineb@irco.org

IRCO NextGen
Stefanie Diaz-Zavala, NextGen@irco.org | 971-271-6471
For young people (17-24) interested in a career in Healthcare, Construction, IT Technology, or Manufacturing

IRCO's SummerWorks Program
Provides valuable work experience to low-income youth ages 16-24. There are over 900 paid summer internships available across Multnomah and Washington counties. Each participant has a job coach who supports them with work readiness training, ongoing job coaching, and networking opportunities to integrate experiences into education and career goals.

Health Careers North West
careerpoint@irco | 971-271-6557, 971-271-6452
Supports career growth and progress in seven careers: nursing, allied health, dental, medical office, medical laboratory, mental health and assistive technology. If you qualify, you can attend info sessions held every Wednesday at 3:30 at IRCO.

Northwest Promise
Marie Rossmiller, Career Coach, marier@irco.org | 503-943-9304  
Each participant works with a career coach to explore one of five careers: nursing, medical laboratory, medical office, allied health and computer & information systems. Program services include financial assistance, individualized coaching, resumé writing, interview preparation, academic tutoring, internships, childcare assistance, on the job training, transportation, professional mentorships and kob placement. Contact to learn more and apply.

In addition, IRCO helps small business owners to start or expand businesses. They have helped a number of refugees start home-based child care businesses. See IRCO website for an extensive list of employers willing to hire refugees.

Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon

4008 NE MLK Jr. Blvd, Portland, OR 97212 | 503-841--3351 (PDX) 503-521-7620 (Beaverton) | eso@mesopdx.org
Helps low income individuals to achieve economic security through entrepreneurship. Matches individuals from disenfranchised, displaced, low-income, immigrant/refugee, unbanked minority and underserved communities with all the services needed to succeed in business.

Portland Meet Portland

Refugees who come to Portland face major obstacles in developing their careers here in the United States. PMP helps support their transition into a new professional life through mentoring and network building.

CCC Employment Access Center

2 NW 2nd Ave., Portland, OR 97209 | 503-226-7387
Provides employment workshops, job resource center, daily job announcements, career advancement and training services, and employment-related housing. Enroll to learn interviewing skills and prepare for job searches.

Mercy Corps NW Refugee Farming Program
43 SW Naito Parkway, Portland, OR 97204 | 503-896-5070
Helps recent refugees start small scale-farming enterprises by connecting them to land, supplies, and markets. Focus on helping refugees from Burma, Bhutan and Nepal improve their livelihoods.   

Mercy Corps NW Microenterprise Microloans Program
43 SW Naito Parkway, Portland, OR 97204 | 503-896-5070 | info@mercycorpsnw.org
Provides micro loans to entrepreneurs starting or growing their small business (from $500-$20,000). Those with a business plan who don't qualify for traditional capital, can inquire. In addition to financing, borrowers benefit from technical assistance.

Family

Pregnancy & Parenting Support
Call 503-238-5196 for an appointment or with questions
Catholic Charities works with parents who are looking for support during their pregnancy and after the baby's birth as they adjust to their newest family member. They offer the following services:

Counseling during and after your pregnancy
Help in finding resources you need for your family
Pregnancy and parenting classes

Raising Teens in a New Country: A Guide for the Whole Family
IT'S HERE!
Raising Teens in a New County: A Guide for the Whole Family, was created for parents and teens who are new to the U.S., and for the service providers working with them.
This guide covers topics that often come up in families raising teenagers in the United States such as discipline, dating, driving, and cultural identity. It aims to remind newcomers that every parent worries for their children and most teens face these challenges.
At this time, the guide is only available online, but we hope to have hard copies available for order soon. Also, stay tuned for new translations and an adapted interactive online learning module! It is in Arabic and Spanish.
http://www.brycs.org/documents/upload/Raising-Teens-New-Country.pdf

Financial

Q: Our refugee family received a letter from Migration and Refugee Service requesting they pay back the airline tickets for travel to the USA. They don't have the money. What are their options?
A: According to World Relief the refugee is notified on the 5th/6th month about the loan repayment and the obligation is to pay back within 42 months (3.5 years). But if they are unable, there are options for assistance provided by the agency but they need to contact them and not ignore their obligation. They have three options:

Pay the amount in full
Request to postpone the payment
Request to pay into installment.

Q: Where can my family get free tax preparation?
A. They can go to any of these places:

Free online tax filing through United Way
Beaverton Activity Center: 12500 SW Allen Blvd., Beaverton, OR 97005, 503-705-2994
Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District, 5550 Hall Blvd, Beaverton, OR 97005

What you need to bring:

Personal Information: valid photo ID, taxpayer identification number (SSN or ITIN)
Proof of income: all W-2's or 1099's, 
All statements of self-employed earning
Last year's tax return
Checking and savings account information
Other common tax information

Financial capability for new Americans: lessons from early interventions with refugees
There are four parts to this article: 

Part 1 details the financial situation of refugee households in their first years in the US.
Part 2 presents a descriptive analysis of promising financial capability practices that have been adapted to the unique circumstances of the refugee experience.
Part 3 explores how one promising practice-financial coaching-works in the refugee context and presents evidence of it's efficacy.
Part 4 provides a series of key tactics that can be deployed to maximize results when working with refugees.

Family Success Center
Empowers individuals and families with the tools they need to take control of their financial future. Catholic Charities provides a variety of critical resources including: emergency financial and resource assistance, tailored financial education, credit repair, financial coaching and savings program.

Travel Loans
Refugees sign a promissory note agreeing to pay back the cost of their airfare to the US Government. The refugee is obligated to pay the loan back within 3.5 years but if they are unable, there are options for assistance provided by the agency. It is very important that they contact the agency and not ignore their obligation. The following articles provide more information about the travel loans including FAQ's.

https://www.worldrelief.org/travel-loans/
http://www.newsweek.com/brief-history-refugees-paying-back-us-government-their-travel-403241

Free online tax filing through United Way
Free Federal and State returns for households who earned less than $66,000 in 2017


Food

Halal Grocers

Oregon

Beaverton

  • Aloha Halal Market, 17937 SW Tualatin Valley Hwy, Beaverton, OR 97006, 503-259-9343
  • Bazaar Food Market,10255 SW Canyon Rd, Beaverton, OR 97005, 503-641-1352
  • Haji Halal Market, 12025 SW Allen Blvd, Beaverton, OR 97005, 971-228-8042

Southwest Portland

  • Halal Mediterranean Deli, 11535 SW Pacific Hwy, Portland, OR 97223, 503-293-3020
  • Madina Market, 16755 SW Baseline Rd, Beaverton, OR 97006, 503-746-6197

Northeast Portland

  • Afgoya Halal Meat & Grocery, 7202 NE Alisan St, Portland, OR 97213, 971-340-6932

Southeast Portland

  • Division Halal Meat Market, 12659 SE Division St., Portland, OR 97236, 971-544-7756

WASHINGTON

  • Vancouver International Market, 6400 NE Hwy 99 d, Vancouver, WA 98665, 360-353-4401          

Emergency Food

Farmers Market Fund
503-241-0032
Last year through 20 area farmer markets, FMF sent $280,000 worth of fresh food home with low income families.

food_available.pdf

IRCO
School based food pantries-fresh food. Serves meals to refugee and immigrant elders.

Northeast Emergency Food Program
503-284-5470
NEFP distributes 900,000 pounds of food and 40,000 items of clothing to 9,000 households annually.

Oregon Food Bank
7900 NE 33rd Drive, Portland, OR 97211 | 503-282-0555

Oregon Department of Human Services
50 SW 2nd Ave, Portland, OR 97204 | 503-491-1979
Benefits are available through the Oregon Trail Card, which works like a bank debit card at the grocery store. www.Oregonhelps.org is free and confidential and estimates food stamp benefits, provides downloadable applications, and includes detailed information on other useful programs. More information about food stamps and other state benefits is available at www.oregon.gov/DHS/assistance

Phone Numbers for Area Offices

Downtown (SW2nd): 971-673-1400
Alberta (N Webster): 971-673-6900
Maywood (NE 102nd): 971-673-0909
Northeast Portland (NE Broadway): 971-673-5722
Gresham (NE Kelly): 503-491-1979
Southeast Portland (SE Powell): 971-673-2550
St. Johns (N Lombard): 971-673-5500

SNAP (The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) 
1-800-723-3638
Call for nearest office and how to apply. SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, helps low-income people and families buy food. Benefits are provided on a debit card and are accepted at most grocery stores.

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
1-800-723-3638
Call for the nearest office and how to apply. TANF provides cash assistance to low-income families with children while they strive to become self-sufficient.

URBAN GLEANERS
503-226-8061
Urban Gleaners provides fresh, nutritious food to more than 6,000 children and families who experience food insecurity.

Free Assistance

Butterfly Boxes provides airport welcome bags made by volunteers and delivered to the airport by Catholic Charities. There they are given to the newly arrived refugees. The bags are filled with basic necessities like toiletries and towels, comfort items like stuffed animals and dolls, and organizational tools like calendars and folders to help settle in to life in Oregon.

The Dental Foundation of Oregon-Tooth Taxi 
503-594-0880
A pediatric, mobile clinic that provides dental services to more than 3,000 low-income/uninsured children each year.

Community Cycling Center
503-288-8864
Has given away more than 10,000 bikes to children from low-income families in the past 20 years. 

Impact NW
503-294-7400
Helped 2,908 households pay energy bills last year. 

Islamic Social Services of Oregon State (ISOS)
PO Box 5996, Aloha, OR 97006 | 503-259-2320
ISOS provides emergency rent, energy, and food assistance for refugees and community members in need.

Newcomer Scholarship (for college)
Carol Tatch at 503-289-1517
See Education section for complete details. Funded by MRG Foundation Contact for more info.

Oregon Energy Fund 
971-386-2124
Supports household stability by assisting families in financial crisis with their energy bills. 

Oregon Family to Family Health Information Center
Helps families with children or youth with special health care needs. Gives information about resources that will provide financial support for medication and health services.

PDX Diaper Bank
503-974-4703
PDX Diaper Bank provides free diapers and diapering supplies to low-income and homeless families with children, older adults, and individuals with disabilities residing in the Portland metro area.

Portland Refugee Support Group
Provides refugee families monthly bags of a variety of items including cleaning and personal care.

Portland State University Four Years Free
See "Education" for complete details.

Refugee Care Collective
Nonprofit that builds restart kits to welcome and honor refugees coming to Portland. The kits are filled with essential items that give refugees the start of what they need to rebuild their lives here. There are restart kits for every major area of the home: kitchen, bathroom, cleaning, baby, personal care as well as a welcome kit.

Refugee Center Online

Offers links to scholarships for refugees, GED courses and more.

Refugee & Immigrant Hospitality Organization
info@rihonw.org
Operates a donation center (free household goods and furniture).

Housing

Cascade Management
Oversees a huge number of low-income properties. The website has an interactive map of the properties.

Energy/Rent Assistance Hotline
503-405-7877

Habitat For Humanity
Builds simple, decent, affordable homes for over 350 local families. Application form is in pdf. habitat_for_humanity.pdf Download File

Habitat For Humanity Store
Home improvement outlet with low cost items.

Home Forward (Formerly Portland Housing Authority)
135 SW Ash Street, Portland, OR 97204 | 503-802-8300
(website in Spanish, Vietnamese, Somali, Russian, Croation and Arabic) Section 8 housing program offers subsidies/voucher housing for individuals & families.

Housing Connections
An easy-to-use search engine for people to find affordable housing (30% of income) all throughout Portland.

Impact NW 
503-294-7400
Helped 2,908 households pay energy bills last year. 

IRCO
4424 NE Glisan St. Portland, OR 97213 | 503-234-1541
Provides housing referrals to immigrants and refugees struggling with housing. In the majority of cases, they can offer services in the language of origin. IRCO also helps with energy and rental assistance.

Islamic Social Services of Oregon State (ISOS) 
PO Box 5996, Aloha, OR 97006 | 503-259-2320
Provides emergency rent, energy and food assistance for refugees and community members in need.

Metro Home Share
503-221-1054, ext. 212 | metrohomeshare@emoregon.org
Started by Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon (EMO) in response to Portland's affordable housing shortage. Shared House-ing has matched thousands of homeowners with renters throughout the Portland metro area. Homesharing is a unique arrangement between two people: one with housing to offer (Home Provider) and the other in need of housing (Home Seeker). The Home Provider charges an affordable rent and the Home Seeker provides services such as cleaning, grocery shopping or pet care to augment their rent payment. The other advantage of this arrangement for refugees is that they are then in a setting where they can practice their English.

Oregon Energy Fund
971-386-2124
Supports household stability by assisting families in financial crisis with their energy bills.

Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS)
725 Summer St. NE, Ste B, Salem, OR 97301-1266 | 503-986-2000 | housinginfo@oregon.gov
A state department, with resources ranging from case management and emergency rent assistance to access to federal and state funds for energy assistance and weatherization and loans.

Public Housing Database
Helps you to find detailed information about what housing is available.

Reach Community Development
503-231-0682
In 2016, REACH provided 2,569 people with stable affordable rental homes. 

Renters Rights Hotline
503-288-0130

Language/Interpretation

Interpreter & Medical Transportation Interpreter Services
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act requires recipients of federal assistance to have their programs and activities accessible to persons with limited English proficiency. These services are free to the recipients.

Face-to-Face/Over the Phone Interpreting

  • Certified Languages International 800-225-5254
  • Columbia Language Services 360-896-3881
  • CTS Language Link 855-295-9177
  • IRCO Language Bank 503-234-0068
  • Linguava Interpreters 503-265-8515
  • Northwest Interpreters Inc. 206-971-0000
  • Passport to Languages 503-297-2707
  • Tele Language Inc. 503-535-2186

Other National Companies

  • Language Line 800-752-6096
  • Pacific Interpreters 800-311-1232

Medical Transportation
Persons in need of transportation assistance and who are on Medicaid OHP may qualify for medical transportation. For more information about eligibility for Medical Transportation, please visit: http://trimet.org/mtp/

Trimet's Medical Transportation Program
503-802-8700

Oregon Health Plan Plus/Medicaid
P.O. Box 10054, Portland, OR 97210 | 503-945-5772
For more information about Medicaid eligible services for interpretation and/or transportation please visit:
http://www.oregon.gov/oha/healthplan/data_pubs/faqs/benefits.aspx

Legal

African Youth & Community Organization (AYCO)
AYCO partners with Multnomah and Washington County Juvenile justice department to match skilled (culturally specific) mentors with youth who are involved with the juvenile justice system.

Immigration Counseling and Advocacy Program (ICAP)
605 S.E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd., Portland, OR | 503-731-9580, 503-231-7480, fax 503-233-0667
Mon-Thur 9-5, Fri 9-2:30. For more information or to schedule an appointment call.
ICAP provides low cost immigration counseling. There are immigration attorneys on staff who can handle complex cases and represent refugees in court if necessary. Immigration Counseling is provided by or supervised accredited representatives who have been given permission to give immigration advice by the U.S. Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). ICAP counsels immigrants and refugees about their rights and responsibilities pertaining to their immigration status, helps clients with all immigration forms and applications, and represents clients before the U.S.C.I.S. and immigration Court. Staff and counselors can serve refugees in English, Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, Korean and Arabic. Consult Fee: $50

Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services (CCILS)
2740 SE Powell Blvd #2, Portland, OR 97202 | 503-542-2855
To become a client, call and leave a voicemail to schedule a consultation. Consult Fee: $50, unless you qualify for one of our grant funded projects.

Immigration Counseling Service (ICS)
519 SW Park Avenue, Suite 610, Portland, OR 97205 | 503-221-1689
Non profit law firm. To become a client, fill out an application form. Forms are available online or at the office. Consult Fee: $50, unless you qualify for one of our grant funded projects.

Lutheran Community Services Northwest (LCSN)
7931 NE Halsey St., Suite 201, Portland, OR 97213|971-888-7830
The Crime Victim Advocacy program at Lutheran Community  Services North West works to support people and communities who have been harmed by broad range of crimes.
Crime Victim Advocacy program Services:

  • Information, Referral & Advocacy
  • Free of Charge to all regardless of immigration status or whetehr the crime has been reported to law enforcement
  • Confidential
  • Access to bilingual advocates and interpretation services

Refugee and Immigration Services and Empowerment (RISE)
1020 SW Taylor Suite 500, Portland, OR 97205 | Cheryl Coon, Executive Director, 971-270-0755
Formerly known as Refugee Disability Benefits of Oregon, RISE's attorneys work with refugee and immigrant families and their health care providers, case managers and counselors to obtain disability benefits, including application. RISE also works with disabled refugees and their family members to empower them to deal with bureaucracies and to find culturally responsive healthcare providers and vocational counselor/job developers.

Refugee Travel Document
A person with refugee or asylum status who wishes to travel outside the United States needs a Refugee Travel Document. Without this document, they may not be eligible to re-enter the United States and may be placed in immigration court. To apply for a Refugee Travel Document it is necessary to file Form I-131.

SOAR Immigration Legal Services
7931 NE Halsey Street Suite 302, Portland, OR 97213 | 503-384-2482
SOAR Immigration Legal Services provides culturally competent, immigration- related legal representation and education to low income refugees and immigrants in and around the Portland metro area. Consult Fee: $50, unless you qualify for one of our grant funded projects. To become a client, attend one of the walk-in clinics:

  • First Tuesday of every month at Hillsboro United Methodist Church from 9am to 4pm. 168 NE 8th Ave., Hillsboro, OR 97214
  • First Wednesday of every month at Muslim Educational Trust from 4pm to 8pm. 10330 SW Scholls Ferry Road, Tigard, OR 97223
  • Second Thursday of every month at Rosewood Community Center from 10am to 4pm. 16126 SE Stark Street, Portland, OR 97233
  • Third Thursday of every month at Bridgeport Community United Church of Christ from 9am to 4pm. 621 NE 76th Ave., Portland, OR 97213

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Forms and instructions on the application process including where to file, filing fees, etc. for Green Card, Citizenship, Travel Documents and more.

Medical

African Youth & Community Organization (AYCO)
offers assistance navigating complicated healthcare systems, insurance, treatment plans, unfamiliar healthcare procedures and expectations, forms and assessments. AYCO refers to appropriate supports and services and advocates when necessary. AYCO provides community healing workshops that engage participants in a process of understanding the impact of trauma and the capacity of resilience. Participants may consist of providers/staff, youth, parents, or community members.

Hope for Health PDX
320 SE 122nd Ave Portland, OR 97233 | 972-808-6624 | info@hopeforhealthpdx.org
is committed to bringing inspiration, and guidance to refugee and immigrant communities in Oregon. This organization creates opportunities for communities to find, learn, access and utilize healthcare services that promote empowerment, wellness and health equities through education, advocacy and outreach.

Intercultural Psychiatric Program (OHSU-IPP)
OHSU Multnomah Pavillion, UHN-88, 3633 SE 35th Place, Portland, OR 97202 | 503-494-4222
Care to underserved refugees and immigrants. Treatment for adults, children and adolescents, particularly those affected by trauma. Accepts OHP, private insurance, and sliding scale for the uninsured. Provides individual/group therapy, psychiatric assessment, ongoing treatment, psycho-social therapy, medication and case management. Languages: Amharic, Arabic, Bosnian, Cambodian, Farsi, Kurdish, Lao, Mien, Russian, Oromo, Somali, Spanish, Swahili, and Vietnamese.

The Mid-County Health Center Portland Low Cost Clinic
12710 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97236 | 503-988-3601
doubles as the state’s refugee clinic serving more than 1,000 new residents each year from more than 40 countries.

Multicultural Counseling Services (MCS) Lutheran Community Services
Portland at 605 SE  Cesar E Chavez Blvd., Portland, OR 97214 | 503-231-7480
Vancouver at 3600 Main St., Vancouver, WA 98663 | 360-694-5624

Multicultural counseling services outpatient mental health and alcohol and drug program providing individual, couple and family counseling. Medicaid (OHP), Medicare, private insurance, and sliding scale fees accepted. Languages: Russian, Arabic, Amharic, Somali, Karen, Burmese, Nepali, and others.

Omar Reda MD is a board certified psychiatrist with Providence Health Systems. He runs a clinic once a month that is culturally specific to refugees. Sees refugees at their homes on the request of case managers, resettlement agencies or if they call. Dr. Reda also is in charge of the "Art & Play Therapy" Program. The Art and Play Therapy sessions for refugee children are an on-going monthly program. Dr Reda focuses on the psycho-social aspect of therapy. He works on helping refugee children, who may have suffered trauma in their lives, deal with their past and work on improving their present and future through art & fun activities.

Oregon Family to Family Health Information has been helping families of children and youth with special health care needs. Excellent resource that gives information about how to navigate insurance and numerous resources that will provide financial support for medication and health services

Oregon Muslim Medical Association (OMMA)
mar.reda@providence.org

Places of Worship

Multnomah County maintains a searchable directory of Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Muslim and Jewish places of worship. Visit them here.

Social/Ethnic 

African

  1. African Youth Community Organization Services include organized sports such as soccer and basketball. Community Chai and Dialogue: AYCO hosts regular gathering of immigrant and mainstream communities to get to know one another while sharing chai and engaging in dialogue and conversation.
  2. Africa House (IRCO)
    631 NE 102nd, Portland, OR 97230 | 503-802-0082
    Provides a "one-stop" family-focused service center with the goal of raising the visibility of the African community, highlighting community achievements, and helping the community and families achieve self-sufficiency and self-determination.
  3. African Women's Coalition
    1125 SE Madison, Suite 210, Portland, OR 97214
    Seeks to create a shared dynamic vision for Portland's African refugee community and develop a plan to address community problems, based on cultural, civic and socio-economic values. 
  4. Harambee Centre
    P.O. Box 6617 Portland, OR 97228 | 503-819-4039
    To inform, educate and enlighten people in the community about the cultures of the societies of Africa; to build bonds of understanding, respect, and mutually beneficial relationships between people in the Pacific Northwest and people in Africa; and to support self-help projects in African communities by generating funds from resources in the communities.
  5. National Somali Bantu Project
    PSU P.O. Box 751, Portland, OR 97207 | 503-725-8358
    To support and educate service providers about the Somali community in Portland.
  6. Obo Addy Legacy Project (Homowo African Arts & Cultures)
    7725 N Fowler Ave., Portland, OR 97217 | 503-288-3025
    Homowo seeks to bring African Arts and Culture to Oregon, by enhancing an understanding of African arts and cultural traditions, promoting and maintaining multi-generational interaction and community involvement.
  7. Senegalese Association of Portland and SW Washington
    To advance the understanding of Senegalese culture through educational activities, cultural events open to the public, and engaging in charitable volunteer activities, with the aim to provide support to Senegalese immigrants in the Northwest.
  8. Somali-Bajuni Community Services Coalition
    9123 SW Barbur Blvd., Portland, OR 97129 | 503-595-0368
    Somali and Bajuni translation services, transportation, life skills orientation, family crisis assistance, legal aid referrals and other help.
  9. Somali Bantu Community Organization of Oregon
    2788 SE 82nd Ave., Suite 203B, Portland, OR 97266 | 503-384-8229
  10. Somali Women Association
    503-972-4930 | Lul Abdulle, Program Coordinator: swaofpdx@yahoo.com
    To support self-help projects in African communities by generating resources.

Asian

  1. Asian Family Center (IRCO) 
    8040 NE Sandy Blvd., Portland, OR 97213 | 503-235-9396
    Assists Asian families and youth in becoming self-sufficient and contributing members to the American Society.
  2. Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO)
    240 N Broadway, Suite 215, Portland, OR 97227 | 971-340-4861
    A network of leaders, activists, and allies from Oregon's Asian-Pacific Islander (API) communities working to mobilize the social, cultural and political strengths of the diverse API communities.
  3. Bhutanese Community of Portland
    2906 NE Glisan, Portland, OR 97232 | 503-284-3002
    Contact: Som Subedi (Director) at som_subedi@yahoo.com
  4. Burmese Community Association
    16116 SE Mill Street, Portland, OR 97233 | 503-762-7560
  5. Cambodian-American Community of Oregon
    503-567-9596
    Seeks to unite people, preserve the past, and empower the present and future members of the Cambodian-American community. They also run a Cambodian school, which features language, history, and other subjects.
  6. Filipino American Association of Portland & Vicinity
    8917 SE Stark St., Portland, OR 97216 | 503-253-7636
    A non-profit that serves to aide Filipino Americans in their assimilation and integration; to prepare youths for future leadership roles while simultaneously providing for the retention of their rich social, cultural heritage and legacies.
  7. Lao American Foundation
    809 NE 116th Ct., Portland, OR 97220
  8. Nepali Association of Oregon
    info@nepaloregon.org
    NAO provides a Dashian Celebration. Dashian is the longest and most auspicious festival in the Nepalese annual calendar.
  9. Oregon Bhutanese Community Organization
    10301 NE Glisan St., Portland, OR 97220 | 971-331-1271
  10. Oregon Vietnamese Community Association
    P.O. Box 7186, Aloha, OR 97007 | 503-345-9376
    To promote and preserve Vietnamese history and cultural heritage through social, economic, educational and cultural outreach and to assist Vietnamese immigrants and the Vietnamese American community in Oregon.                                                                                                        

Middle Eastern

  1. Andisheh Center
    503-862-8362
    Organizes Annual Iranian Festival which includes live music, dance performances, Iranian food, fun activities for adults & children, and traditional arts and crafts. Also celebrates Eve of the Red Wednesday (last Wednesday of the Persian Calendar), saying farewell to the cold winter and welcoming the spring. Includes activities for children, DJ music, and dance. A community of Iranians in Oregon and SW Washington, whose mission is to help the Portland Greater Metropolitan area community come together and appreciate differences in gender, religion, nationality, personal attributes, and social or cultural practices.
  2. Cool Islam is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to educate, empower and establish our youths regardless of race, religion, color and gender.
  3. Iranian Student Association of Portland ISAP hosts various events that celebrate the Iranian culture and historical holidays. They also organize group outings, sporting events, day hikes and viewing parties or various Iranian movies.
  4. Iraqi Society of Oregon offers an intercultural and interfaith meeting ground for all people who identify as related to the Iraqi people. This website is written in Arabic with English translation available. Iraqi society of Oregon hosts cultural activities such as Arabic Live Music Night.
  5. Islamic Center of Portland
    6940 SW Hall Blvd | 503-256-9305 | support@icop.org
    Provides the highest quality of religious, educational, and social services to our entire community, support and promote a comprehensive islamic complete way of life as delineated in the Holy Quran, and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad according to the school of Ahlo Albeit. ICOP works to strengthen the bonds between Muslims and Non-Muslims by establishing a united community through effective interfaith partnership, tolerance, and respect amongst the people of Washington and Oregon.
  6. Muslim Educational Trust (MET)
    10330 SW Scholls Ferry Road, Tigard, OR 97223
    The mission of the MET is to enrich the public's understanding of Islam and dispel common myths and stereotypes, while serving the Muslim community's educational, social and spiritual needs.

Other Misc. Social Places

Butterfly Boxes
Hosts monthly potluck dinners to help bring together those established in the community together with our newest neighbors.

The ESL Cafe-NewPortlanders.net
ESL Cafe is a friendly relaxed place for English learners to meet and talk with Portlanders while enjoying coffee and tea. Check their website for locations and times.

Muslim Educational Trust (MET)
MET hosts many social events such as picnics, musical festivals, the Muslim Cultural Festival, book fairs, moving screenings and potlucks.

Portland Refugee Support Group (PRSG)
PRSG hosts a ramadan potluck and other religious and cultural events. They also hosted Syrian Soccer in 2017.

Refugee & Immigrant Hospitality Organization (RIHO)
16126 SE Stark Street, Portland, Oregon 97233
RIHO opened The Welcome Center, an inclusive and supportive place where refugees and immigrants can connect with one another and learn how to access community resources and where the general public can become an integral part of welcoming newcomers.

Transportation

Driver Safety Education for Portland's Immigrants and Refugees
Explains the safety education program for refugees.

Driver Safety Education/City of Portland
Lists dates of classes specifically for refugees.

How to Ride the Bus-TriMet

Pamoja House
11830 SW Kerr Parkway, Ste 100, Lake Oswego, OR 97035 | 503-467-6882 | info@pamojahouse.org
Multicultural organization serving the diverse immigrant community in the SW PDX area through education, counseling and vocational services. They specialize in ESL, drivers education, tutoring and citizenship classes.

Translated Driver's Manuals for Refugees and Immigrants On Refugee Center Online
Translated into Arabic, Karen, Nepali, Somali and more.

Refugee Travel Document
A person with refugee or asylum status who wishes to travel outside of the United States needs a Refugee Travel Document. Without this document (linked by Refugee Center Online), the refugee may not be eligible to re-enter the United States.

Portland Refugee Support Group volunteers created this step by step tutorial in Arabic on how to use public transportation in the Portland Metro area of Oregon. Facebook: Portland Refugee Support Group