Refugee Resettlement


A New & Safe Home

In 1980, the U.S. Congress established the United States Refugee Resettlement Program to respond to the needs of refugees around the world. For the most vulnerable refugees, resettlement to a safe country is their best hope for finding safety and building a future for their children. Each year, the U.S. State Department extends welcome to thousands of refugees and works with local refugee resettlement offices like CWS Durham to help these newcomers rebuild their lives.
Refugees have lost their homes, family, friends, and sense of belonging. Together, we can welcome them to safety and hope.


Refugees welcomed in 2023-2024


Refugees welcomed since 2009


1-on-1 Volunteer Hours in 2023

U.S. Refugee Reception and Placement Program

The U.S. State Department contracts with local refugee resettlement agencies to prepare for and welcome newly-arrived refugees to communities across the country. This Reception and Placement program serves refugees during their first 90 days in the U.S. through securing and furnishing housing and providing cultural orientation, community navigation support, and basic needs assistance. As a refugee resettlement agency, CWS follows strict guidelines to provide core services.


Burlington, NC

In addition to our work in Durham, our team is now providing resettlement and employment services in Burlington, NC. The limited availability of affordable housing in the Triangle continues to present significant challenges for our new neighbors arriving in Durham. As a result, our team has developed new housing, community, employment, and government partnerships in Alamance County to support our new neighbors as they begin their new lives with us in North Carolina.

Core Services

Arrival & Welcome

We greet arriving refugees at the airport offering warm smiles, appropriate language interpretation, seasonally appropriate clothing, and transportation to their awaiting home. 

Housing & Food

We arrange affordable, permanent housing filled with all of the essentials like beds, furniture, kitchen supplies, and toiletries. There is always a warm, culturally-appropriate meal waiting along with a stocked pantry and fridge. 


School Enrollment
Cultural Orientation
English Language

Health Care

Health Screening
Primary Care

Ongoing Case Management Support

Refugees have a long journey to rebuild their lives here in the Triangle--much longer than the R&P program's 90-day period! CWS Durham offers ongoing support through two intensive case management programs: the Matching Grant program and the Preferred Communities program.  


Matching Grant

The Matching Grant Program is an eight-month employment program that provides intensive case management services to help clients achieve economic self-sufficiency. This program provides case management services, employment services, and financial assistance along with other useful resources, such as English as a Second Language courses and Job Readiness training.


Preferred Communities

The Preferred Communities program is a year-long intensive case management program that helps vulnerable refugees along the path to self-sufficiency by providing individually-tailored resources and connections to the wider community. Clients enrolled in the Preferred Communities program develop a personalized self-sufficiency plan to help them achieve their goals, whether that is navigating the U.S. healthcare system on their own or finding quality childcare for a new baby. The Preferred Communities program helps ensure that every refugee we serve is equipped to overcome barriers and navigate U.S. society independently.

Participants in Community

As an arm of our strengths-based case management philosophy, we offer clients opportunities to engage in community service activities with partners around the Triangle. These service activities highlight a refugee’s ability to give back and use their skills in their new community!

Our clients regularly volunteer at several community partner locations, such as:

The Durham Bicycle Co-operative: a local volunteer-run bike co-op that helps new arrivals gain access to and knowledge about their own two wheels.

The Scrap Exchange: a Durham based creative reuse arts center

Habitat for Humanity: a national non-profit dedicated to building accessible housing for everyone and eliminating substandard housing in cities across the US


Resettlement FAQ