CWS Launches Northern California Office to Welcome New Americans, Aid in Joining our Communities

February 21, 2024

Walnut Creek, CA – Church World Service announced the launch of its new Northern Californian office to provide service to new Californians, including by distributing hygiene and school supplies, directing services to recent migrants, legal support for newcomers, and resources to better understand and identify human trafficking. CWS will do this in partnership with local residents, congregations, and partners on the local, state, and national levels.

“At CWS Northern California, we are dedicated to fostering a community of welcome and belonging,” said Jason Welle, Community and Volunteer Engagement Program Officer for CWS Northern California.  “Our clients, displaced by violence and hardship, hail from across the globe, and we are proud to assist them in becoming our neighbors, coworkers, fellow students, and parishioners here in California. Migrants contribute to their local communities, bringing unique skill sets, experiences, and dreams which brighten and strengthen America’s social fabric. They volunteer, pay taxes, start businesses, and invest in our communities as they find the safety we provide them. We are extremely grateful to have a hand in these new beginnings.”

In 2023, CWS Walnut Creek received a grant to provide services to unaccompanied children. These funds are invaluable in protecting our most vulnerable migrant populations: children. With the help of the Home Study & Post-Release Services, CWS is able to help underaged migrants settle into supportive sponsorships. Around 85% of these placements are with a relative or friend already living in the United States, and provide a safe and stable home environment as underaged newcomers settle into school, local support programs, and sustainable community.  

Following the military evacuation of Afghanistan, CWS NorCal rapidly responded to the needs of recently displaced Afghans who were admitted to the United States through a program known as Humanitarian Parole. Similarly, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, sites welcomed Ukrainian Humanitarian Parolees with provision of direct services, such as case management, legal immigration services, and direct financial assistance. Thanks to the generosity and reception of volunteers and community members, CWS NorCal has long fulfilled its promise to show welcome and provide steadfast support to refugees, immigrants, asylum-seekers, and other uprooted people within the United States, who are seeking safety and the opportunity to rebuild their lives.

Beyond these services, staff will directly assemble and distribute “CWS Kits”, which include hygiene materials, school supplies, welcome backpacks for recent migrants, and period packs. These resources can be life-changing to those starting over in Northern California, and are made possible through the welcoming support of communities in the region.

For more information on how to support the efforts of CWS NorCal contact or fill out a volunteer interest form

To learn more about the efforts of Church World Service, contact