what we do

Refuge, as a noun, is defined as a condition of being safe or sheltered from pursuit, danger, or trouble. A secondary definition is “a thing that provides shelter or safety.” 

For City of Refuge, the word is a verb. We are about the action of helping, providing, and sheltering. And it is our honor to provide services such as access to basic needs,  education, and development opportunities for those arriving in our community seeking refuge. 

But we also want to give them something that doesn’t have a price yet is full of concrete value. We want to provide relationships and deep friendships for refugees and immigrants to rely on as they navigate their new life of freedom. 

Empowering Through the Path

A Refugee’s Journey

Refugee Impact Story

Ka Taw Dow

Ka Taw Dow was born a refugee. Her family comes from Myanmar (formerly Burma) and are part of the Karen tribe, who have a long history of war with the Burmese government. Many describe this armed coflict as one of the world’s longest civil wars. It was this persecution that caused her parents to seek refuge at the Tham Him Refugee Camp in the Ratchaburi Province of Thailand.

partner with us
Refugee Impact Story

Sen Lay And Soe Meh's Family

This is Sen Lay and Soe Meh’s family. They arrived in Columbia about 8 years ago from a refugee camp & were connected to our programs. We have had the privilege of knowing and helping them for many years; Barry’s father even married them in Columbia Square Apartments!

partner with us
Refugee Impact Story

Cing Cing Hlamya

Cing Cing Hlamya arrived in Columbia with her family from war-torn Myanmar in 2009. It was winter when they arrived and they had no shoes or coat. With the help of City of Refuge, they found food, jobs, and eventually bought a home!

partner with us
Refugee Impact Story

Htamdang Family

This is the Htamdang family, Peter, Hiram, and their three children. They were persecuted and forced from their home by the government, so fled to Malaysia, living in constant fear of being arrested. Fortunately, they were relocated to the US in 2015 and then Columbia in 2018.

partner with us

Join us at Upcoming Events

Check out our schedule of upcoming events to see how you can support City of Refuge and celebrate refugees in our community!

August 12, 2024
September 23, 2024
September 27, 2024
December 7, 2024

Our Sponsors & Partners

Support our Back to School Bash!

from our blog

recent news & updates

03 July


On Saturday, June 22 I was twirling cotton candy cones and covered with a layer of sugar and sweat. It was as perfect of a...
19 June

Growth 🌱

We just wrapped up our first spring at City Preschool! Read below about how our first semester went from director Candace Hulsizer. When you think...
07 June

Why We Show Up

We tried something new last December – maybe you remember it. We hosted our first ever Holiday Market, featuring a variety of refugee and local...
23 May

No Longer a Dream

I love food. I bet you do, too. I’m learning to love trying new food, too (although historically that hasn’t always been the case). But, perhaps ashamedly, I must...
09 May

Within Arms Reach

Sometimes I get overwhelmed by the vast array of broken things in this world. Even outside my own experiences, my eyes witness conflict, greed, loss-...