Community Support for Refugees

A supportive community is key in successful resettlement for LSC refugees. The Circle of Welcome is a Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) initiative designed to engage both faith and community groups in the successful integration of refugees into communities in the United States. This initiative is anchored in a close partnership between LIRS, LSC, and volunteer teams from faith and community groups.

Welcoming the stranger is a calling shared by most faith traditions and people of good conscience. Perhaps now more than ever, there is a critical need for private support for resettling refugee families and walking with them as they rebuild their lives.

A Circle of Welcome is a team of at least 6-10 people who have committed to walk alongside a matched refugee family for 6 months to one year. LSC has refugee resettlement offices in both North and South Carolina, and we have been resettling refugees since the 90s. Our programs are federal programs—we do all the things needed to get a family settled into life in the US.

During the crisis in Afghanistan, which began in 2021, we received/resettled hundreds of folks from Afghanistan, as well as from other countries. We could not have done it without the amazing partnership with so many volunteers, who have bonded with our clients and served tirelessly through the Circle of Welcome teams.

Partnering Together

Your faith and community group not only has access to local resources refugees can tap into, but your community networks and connections are beneficial to the newly resettled refugee families. Your partnership with us creates a welcoming group of friends that results in a strong support system for refugee families.


  • Improve outcomes for refugee families arriving in the U.S. by engaging faith and community groups and local resettlement agencies in shared resettlement and integration work across the country;
  • Enhance the longer-term integration and not just short-term stabilization for newly arrived refugees;
  • Create meaningful and simple ways for faith and community groups to engage with and walk alongside refugees in service and friendship.

Sample Activities

  • Gather furnishings and supplies for the house
  • Stock the pantry with culturally appropriate foods
  • Provide seasonal clothing for the family members according to their needs
  • Help the family learn more about their new community
  • Assist with transportation needs
  • Help with the development of conversational English
  • Work on financial education and literacy with the family
  • Create a Welcome Kit here

Would you like to know more about the Circle of Welcome?

In North Carolina, call 919-861-2846 or email

In South Carolina, call 803-461-2642 or email