Community Refugee and Immigrant Services

Hands on Work (choose from opportunities described below.)


  • Volunteer or participate in a CRIS event such as Run for Refugees

Who can help: Anyone!

Volunteer at an Event


Many volunteers and participants are needed at fundraisers for CRIS.  Help with set-up, cleaning, or other general tasks.

Who can help: Anyone!

Organize a Fundraiser


Organize a fundraiser among friends, neighbors, or classmates to raise money for Community Refugee and Immigration Services. This money will help refugees in Central Ohio become self sufficient. Just $25 can provide basic toiletries and household consumables and $50 can provide a professional outfit for a job interview. Every dollar counts!

Who can help: Anyone!


Conduct an Advocacy/ Awareness Campaign


Get on social media like Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram and get the word out about CRIS events or news.


Who can help: Anyone!

Contact Community Refugee and Immigration Services under the ‘Contact’ tab on the menu to your left to set up volunteer opportunities or service projects!

What is your organization’s mission statement?


The mission of Community Refugee and Immigrant Services is to help refugees and immigrants reach and sustain self-sufficiency and achieve successful integration into the Central Ohio community.

What population do you serve? 


Community Refugee and Immigrant Services helps refugees and immigrants. These are individuals who have recently transitioned to Central Ohio from other countries and are needing assistance with their English-speaking skills, with employment opportunities, and with much more.


How many do you serve in a year? 


Each year, Community Refugee and Immigrant Services has helped hundreds of immigrants make the transition to the Central Ohio community.

What region or area do you provide services in?


Community Refugee and Immigration Services provides help to individuals in Central Ohio.

How and when did the organization get started? 


Community Refugee and Immigration Services (CRIS) first began as the outreach service of the Buddhamamaka Society, Inc., an association founded in 1987. This association created CRIS in 1995 after two local refugee resettlement offices were unexpectedly closed. In 1999, the City of Columbus and United Way selected CRIS to open a second office.

Since then, CRIS has continued to grow and expand in different ways to provide as many services as possible to the refugee and immigrant communities in Central Ohio.


How many employees do you have? 


Community Refugee and Immigration Services has around 50 employees.


How many volunteers does your organization have?  (click the “Service Projects” tab to learn more about volunteer opportunities)


We have many volunteers help with a range of responsibilities including language training, legal help, counseling, and a wide range of general tasks.

How do your programs or services help the community?


Community Refugee and Immigration Services (CRIS) helps refugees and immigrants with a variety of needs in order to make their transition to the area as smooth as possible. CRIS helps refugees and immigrants with their English skills, with finding employment, with family, with legal assistance and wellness, and with much more.

Program Descriptions 


Employment Services: helps connect refugees with local employers. All clients that Community Refugee and Immigrants Services (CRIS) take on are authorized in the U.S., but it can still be difficult for them to find employment for a variety of reasons. CRIS helps get its clients, who are eager to work, prepared and ready to take on the workforce. CRIS helps set up interviews and bridge the gap between cultures for a successful job placement.

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL): helps clients with their English, allowing them to achieve long-term self-sufficiency. Community Refugee and Immigration Services offer English language classroom instruction along with its employment classes.

Family Services: helps refugees or immigrants who have children or who are expectant mothers. These services help foster happy, healthy families and ease the transition for limited English speaking families.

Interpretation: helps refugees or immigrants in need of a reliable interpreter. Community Refugee and Immigration Services has interpreters for hire that can help clients with spoken, signed, and written language interpretation 24 hours a day.

Legal Services: helps those in need of legal help with their immigration issues. They help individuals in need by offering affordable $20 initial consultations, regardless of lawful status.

Refugee Wellness: helps refugees and immigrants in Central Ohio with their health and wellness needs. Because relocating can be a stressful and overwhelming process, the program helps those in need by reducing stigma, identifying needs, and collaborating with community resources.

Community Refugee and Immigration Services’s Wishlist:

  • Basic toiletries for Welcome Kits.  This includes soap, shampoo, toothbrushes and toothpaste, etc.

Name: Hannah Hartshorn

Organization: Community Refugee and Immigrant Services


Work: (614) 235-5747

1925 E. Dublin Granville Road
Suite 102
Columbus, Ohio 43229

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