What We Do

City of Refuge serves the refugee and immigrant families in our community with a variety of unique services that fall under three categories: Basic Need Programs, Counseling, and Professional Development.

Basic Needs Fulfillment

When refugees are first placed in Columbia, Missouri, they rarely have anything other than the clothes on their backs. Through our Basic Need Programs, we help refugees access food, clothing, housing as well as teach them where to grocery shop, how to use public transportation, and other skills to help them recover from their journey.

School Navigation

Our School Navigation Program is designed to bridge the gaps between school resources and our diverse refugee population. Our School Liaison partners with Columbia Public Schools and other Missouri school districts working with refugee and immigrant families. Their focus is to help families build strong relationships with teachers and school leaders. They will also help families navigate school enrollment, common educational expectations, and connect families with higher education professionals to support students with post-secondary education opportunities. This program will provide vital support to ensure multiple pathways remain open for refugee children, thereby further supporting their families’ economic well-being.


City of Refuge offers free counseling services to refugee men, women, and children. Nearly every refugee has experienced trauma to some degree, and this service is vital to helping many recover and move forward with their lives. These services are provided by licensed counselors with experience interacting with refugees and PTSD-related trauma.

Professional Development

Many refugees and immigrants come from backgrounds that don’t necessarily translate over to the work that is available in Mid-Missouri. In order to help the refugees and immigrants in our community thrive, we offer services to help them develop professionally. From how to apply for jobs to learning tangible, marketable skills, we teach them so that they can find work, support their families, and become successful members of our community.

There is always a way you can get involved in the different services offered by City of Refuge. To learn more about specific classes and events, or to offer your unique skill set to help the refugees placed in our community, please contact us today.