Fleeing for Safety

Tens of thousands of refugees come to the United States each year from many countries. Threatened by persecution and war, these brave people leave behind everything familiar to seek safety, a life free from fear, and the chance for a new start. The US has a strong commitment to protecting refugees and Memphis has historically received and resettled many of these newcomers. 

Serving the Displaced

World Relief Memphis has come alongside refugee families since 2012, providing support and basic orientation through their first months of transition.

Volunteers and staff welcome these vulnerable families from the moment they arrive at the Memphis airport. They help the newcomers move into apartments furnished with donated supplies and teach them everyday skills, like how to use the stove and pay phone bills.

Caseworkers assigned to each family guide them through mounds of paperwork and connect them to essential social services, helping refugees start on the path to self-sufficiency.

Initial Resettlement Services Include:

  • Airport reception

  • Securing permanent housing, furniture and household items

  • Obtaining basic necessities, including food and clothing

  • Helping them apply for Social Security

  • Registering children for school

  • Scheduling and providing transportation to initial health screenings and ongoing health services

  • Providing orientation on various topics related to life in the United States

  • Helping to link and refer to available resources and services in the Memphis area

Working Things Out

Staff connect refugees to suitable jobs and offer English language classesemployment services, and interview preparation skills. Refugees bring a variety of skills and experience to the work force and employers value their strong work ethic and enthusiasm.

Making Connections

The Church and community play a critical role in helping refugees adjust to life in America. Whether exploring neighborhoods together or building friendships—and English skills—over mugs of tea, volunteers accompany refugees as they settle into their new lives.

Get Involved


Want to Learn More?

Karen Spencer, Mobilization Director