CWS to Open New Offices and Programs to Welcome Refugees and Afghan Evacuees Across Nation

October 28, 2021

New York CityChurch World Service today announced that it will open new offices and programs in 10 sites across the nation to welcome Afghan evacuees and refugees rebuilding their lives in the United States via the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. As one of the nine U.S. resettlement agencies, CWS is expanding its capacity for welcome, responding to the worst displacement crisis in history and ensuring that every arriving refugee family has the support they need to become thriving members of their communities. 

Nationwide, CWS offices partner with local community organizations, volunteers, community sponsors and congregations to help refugees resettle, access critical services and become productive members of their new communities. CWS directly administers nine local resettlement offices—now including Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and Winchester, Virginia—and is contracting with 8 new affiliates, totaling 30 in all. Each of these new locations will administer the Afghan Placement and Assistance Program as well as welcome refugees through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.  

“For 75 years, CWS has been committed to welcoming refugee families into our communities and into our lives. By expanding to new cities and towns across America, we are showing that this commitment is stronger than ever,” said Rick Santos, President and CEO of Church World Service. “After years of declining refugee admissions, once again our nation is leading with our values by welcoming Afghans in need of safety and rebuilding the life-saving refugee resettlement program. From coast to coast, communities are willing and able to welcome them, understanding that compassion is a civic virtue and is an investment in our shared future.” 

The new offices will bring jobs and opportunities to the communities where they serve. In addition to working directly for these resettlement offices, there are many opportunities for local community members to take an active role in welcoming their new neighbors. Through community sponsorship, faith groups, businesses, and community organizations can join together to welcome newly arriving refugee families and support their integration over a set period of time.  

“We have seen a huge outpouring of support from communities from coast to coast who want to lend a hand to Afghan families and other refugees and help them get a great start in their new homes. We are thrilled to be expanding our programs to ten new locations to do just that, and we invite people from all walks of life to partner with us to welcome their new neighbors,” said CWS Senior Vice President Erol Kekic. 

CWS resettlement offices and affiliates offer newly arrived refugees, from Afghanistan and beyond, comprehensive case management and employment services aimed at building a foundation for long-term self-sufficiency and success in the United States. Services include basic needs support, case management, cultural orientation, health access assistance, and job preparation and placement services among others.  

The full list of new CWS resettlement locations and affiliates includes: CWS Harrisburg, PA; CWS Winchester, VA; IRIS-Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services, New Haven, CT; Lutheran Family Services, Council Bluffs, IA; Exodus Refugee Immigration Inc., Bloomington, IN; Kentucky Refugee Ministries, Covington, KY; Ascentria Care Alliance, Worcester, MA; Bethany Christian Services, Kalamazoo, MI; Lutheran Family Services, Lexington, NE; Refugee Services of Texas, San Antonio, TX. 

Over the past 70 years, CWS has helped more than 850,000 refugees, Cuban and Haitian entrants, and other immigrants rebuild their lives in the United States. Whether by serving the most vulnerable where they are or by fostering welcoming communities, CWS has been helping refugees resettle and rebuild ever since it opened its doors in 1946.  

Learn more about today’s new sites here. For more information or to speak with CWS, contact