We believe everyone deserves a future.

What We Do

City of Refuge helps refugees navigate a new life in mid-Missouri. We provide unique and often overlooked services under three categories: basic needs, school navigation, and professional development through a foundation of relationship and trust.

Basic Needs Fulfillment

When refugees are first placed in Columbia, Missouri, they rarely have much more than the clothes on their backs. For years after their arrival, they are faced with hard decisions: how much food to buy vs. how much to send back to their family and friends who are still livin in war-torn or persecuted countries. Through our Basic Need Programs, we help refugees access food, clothing, housing, social benefits, medical aid, and more. By getting to know each individual and family, we work within the context of trust to ensure needs are being met.


For families settling in mid-Missouri, education at all levels is a top priority. Our Education Team is dedicated to ensuring that our refugee community receives quality education and educational support by helping them navigate the public and private school systems. In addition to enrolling children in school, finding scholarship opportunities and helping teachers connect with parents, the Education Department offers an array of supplemental programs. Weekly, we host Homework Helpers for K-8 students, providing social interaction and tutoring. High school students meet each week for Youth Impact where the greater focus is on building relationships with others who share aspects of their unique experiences and preparing for life after high school. We support adult learners by offering weekly English classes where they can improve their language and literacy skills, build community, and feel more comfortable interacting with their new neighbors and employers.

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.

Our Global Artisans program allows the refugee community to learn useful professional skills such as sewing, soap making, baking, and other craft based skills.

Annually Raised Donations

People Served


Countries of Origin


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