Refugee and Immigrant Services

Refugee and Immigrant Services

LSS provides initial resettlement services including case management, job preparation and placement, and connection to community volunteers to help with structured guidance and teaching. Community support groups and churches are needed to help with finding housing, gather needed donations of furniture and clothes, assist with moving and furnishing apartments for new arrivals, and help LSS staff educate refugees about American culture and customs.  

LSS has resettled refugee individuals and families from Iraq, Burma, Somalia, Nepal, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Liberia and many other countries.  View an infographic on the screening process for refugee entry conducted by the U.S. government.

Read the story of Bojana, a refugee from Bosnia who now works as an LSS staff member.

Meaningful Ways to be Involved in Refugee Resettlement

We appreciate the interest of individuals, church groups and community groups that want to help refugees resettle and succeed in their new communities. There are many ways to help!

Donate Cash, in any amount, to our Refugee Program. Donations are used for emergency needs (initial rent payments, school supplies, warm clothing, etc.) and items that improve housing for refugees (bed linens, towels, basic kitchen items and window coverings, etc.). Donations are not used for sustained support, as refugees are expected to work and become self-supporting as soon as possible. To make a donation, click the button below.

Donate needed items. Donations for the resettlement of refugees are welcome and important to the work being done. Ask for and complete a donation form indicating a value for your donations. 

  • In Milwaukee, donations of smaller items (new hygiene products, new twin sheet sets, new pillows, new or gently used blankets, cleaning and household supplies, new or gently used infant and toddler car seats/booster seats and diapers) may be dropped off at the Refugee Office: 5300 W Lincoln Ave, Milwaukee on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  
  • In Madison, donations of smaller items (new hygiene, cleaning and household supplies, new or gently used infant and toddler car seats/booster seats and diapers) may be dropped off at the Refugee Office: 322 E Washington Avenue on Thursdays between 1 and 4 p.m.  
  • Urgent winter needs (at both offices) include gently used or new winter coats in women's size small or medium; men's size small, medium and large; children's coats in all sizes and winter boots in all sizes.
  • Large donations are delivered by appointment to storage areas in both Milwaukee and Madison. Please contact us to make arrangements and schedule a time.  

Recruit a Move-In Team to pick up donated furniture from donors’ homes or from our warehouse and move it into refugee’s apartments before they arrive. 

Become a Home Supply Church, gathering donations of household supplies. Your group could gather supplies in one or more of these categories: furniture, linens, kitchen items, toiletries, cleaning supplies, baby items or winter clothes.

Develop a Donation Pickup and Delivery Team to deliver donated furniture and household items to our Refugee Program warehouse in Milwaukee. You’ll work with our staff to plan pickups, then provide the needed muscle and transport for delivery.

Provide Resettlement Support to a refugee or refugee family for 90 days. With the support and guidance of our staff, you’ll help refugees become self-sufficient and independent. To prepare, attend a two-hour training session and complete a short application and background check form.

Be a Cultural Mentor for a refugee or refugee family, helping them build skills and self-sufficiency for up to one year. To prepare, attend two hours of Community Support training and complete a short application and background check form.

Invite the LSS Refugee Staff to a meeting in your community to learn how we work to improve quality of life, safety, and community involvement for refugees in Wisconsin.

Prayers for refugees are powerful and always welcome!

Interested in Becoming a Volunteer?

Learn more about how to get involved by attending an LSS Volunteer Information and Training Meeting. The meetings are held in both Milwaukee and Madison on the dates listed below. Interested volunteers must attend an Informational Session before attending a Training and Orientation session.

Milwaukee Refugee Office:  5300 W. Lincoln Avenue, Milwaukee WI  53219

Volunteer Information Sessions, 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.:      Training and Orientation Sessions, 6 - 8 p.m.:
Wednesday, April 13      Wednesday, March 16
Wednesday, May 11         Wednesday, July 13
Wednesday, September 14         Wednesday, October 12
Wednesday, November 9             Wednesday, December 14

Madison Meadowridge Public Library:  5740 Raymond Road, Madison, WI  53711

Volunteer Information Sessions, 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.:    Training and Orientation Sessions, 6 - 8 p.m.:
Tuesday, April 12               Tuesday, March 15
Tuesday, September 13               Tuesday, July 12
Tuesday, November 8              Tuesday, October 11
                                                                                          Tuesday, December 13

For more information on refugee resettlement services or how you can help change lives:

Contact: Mary Flynn
5300 W. Lincoln Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53219

Download a PDF of the Volunteer ApplicationComplete and send by mail to the address below or via email to Mary Flynn.
Download a PDF of the Refugee Resettlement Information Packet.

English as a Second Language (ESL)

LSS will connect newly arrived refugees with programs that will help them learn basic English and help them become better prepared for employment. LSS also recruits volunteers to do individual tutoring at clients' homes. Curriculum and coordination of scheduling will be provided by LSS to the tutors.  ESL tutors and volunteers, visit this website for additional resources.

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