8 Ways to Help Refugees in Washington, D.C.

Author: Catherine Vo, Guest Blogger

Want to help with the global refugee crisis, but aren’t sure where to start? LSS/NCA has various programs inviting anyone to contribute their talents and resources to help refugees and immigrants.

Employ Refugees

Refugees and asylees bring unique skills and talents to the American workforce. In addition to providing cultural orientations, employment assistance, job preparation, and interview training, LSS/NCA partners with businesses in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia to employ refugees. Hire qualified and trained employees through the LSS/NCA employment program. Submit your information here and we will be in touch.

Open Your Home as a Foster Parent 

There is an increasing number of unaccompanied refugee minors (URM), youths who made their journey to the United States without parents or guardians. In 1980, LSS/NCA expanded foster care programming to URM. Foster parents are vital in providing safe and caring environments for youth after leaving their homes and experiencing  trauma. To learn more and apply to become a foster parent, visit our URM page.

Build Refugee Welcome Kits

Household items, linens, and kitchen supplies are essentials to all refugee families as they build their new lives and homes in the United States. Groups or individuals can host in-kind donation drives for household items. Or, individuals can schedule larger furniture donation pickups. Information about in-kind donations and a list of accepted donations can be found here.

Rent Housing to Refugees

With the increasing cost of living in the Washington, D.C. area, landlords can help refugees by providing affordable housing options, while lowering their vacancy rate. LSS/NCA programming ensures timely payment and a smooth move-in transition. Information for landlords can be found here.

Be a Good Neighbor Partner

LSS/NCA matches new refugee families with local congregations or groups to help provide additional support in the beginning stages of their new lives in the United States. As Good Neighbor Partners, groups help provide a sense of belonging and community. They typically meet refugees at the airport, prepare their first apartment, and provide guidance on shopping, transportation, and local resources. If your congregation or group is interested in becoming a Good Neighbor Partner, submit your information here.

Volunteer with LSS/NCA

You can contribute your time and talents in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. Volunteer opportunities include youth and family refugee mentors, youth tutors, employment assistants, women’s empowerment aids, movers and drivers, and various administrative tasks to help plan events and upkeep our website. Learn how to become a volunteer for LSS/NCA here.


For fiscal year 2019, the Trump Administration has set a nationwide ceiling of 30,000, a drop from the FY 2018 total of 45,000. This is the lowest number established in the program’s 39-year history. Find more information about how to contact your representatives and remain educated about the current situation here. Advocacy resources including a detailed advocacy manual, local refugee statistics, fact sheets, and highlights can be downloaded here.


Programming for refugees is continuously in need of funding, especially now. Because resettlement numbers are dramatically low, resettlement agencies are struggling to sustain their infrastructure to serve the refugee population. Donations provide administration support, housing, English language classes, and employment services to families upon arrival. You can make a donation here or visit our wishlist.

No contribution is too grand or too small. If you have any questions about volunteering, please contact Dana Lea at Lead@LSSNCA.org


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