Who we are

City of Refuge is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created to help and serve refugees and immigrants in Mid-Missouri. Our vision is to help refugees and immigrants become productive, successful, contributing members of our community.

Mid-Missouri has more than 8,000 refugees and immigrants. Each year an average of 200 new refugees come to Columbia, MO. Many of them do not speak English and arrive with only a few pieces of clothing and little money.

What we do

We help the refugees and immigrants go to the doctor, find jobs, learn how to drive, open bank accounts, get cell phone plans, apply for college, get clothing and household goods, and much, much more.  The need is great and we are always looking for more help, especially in terms of those willing to give their time and energy.  If you’re interested in joining us, here is a list ways to get involved:




Adopt a Family - Many families are placed in Columbia with little to no belongings.  Most of the time, they do not speak fluent English and they do not know how to drive, so going to the store to get a loaf of bread is next to impossible.  This also means they have an incredibly difficult time finding housing, let along negotiating rent, and sometimes, medical needs are present from the very beginning.  Having an American family come alongside them to help them navigate the first few weeks of culture shock is a huge blessing.  You'll be amazed at the bond that is formed between your family and theirs.

Tutoring, Driving Lessons, Opening Mail - These tasks are second nature to us.  But many refugees and immigrants need someone to teach them in these areas and then sit beside them as they get more skilled in their "daily routine."

Transportation - Maybe you have an extra hour or two a week that you could spend transporting a new friend to and from a doctor's appointment or the grocery store.

Setting Up House - We have an abundance of clothing and household goods and furniture ready to be donated to those refugees and immigrants in need.  We need people to help "take orders" and then deliver the supplies accordingly.  In addition, if you're interested in making a donation of such things and/or sorting and organizing, please contact us.

Safi Sana - For more information on how you can help support our residential and commercial cleaning business that employs many of our refugees and immigrants, click here

To get involved, contact our City of Refuge Executive Director, Garrett Pearson at garrett@cityofrefugecolumbia.org.

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