LSSWis - Lutheran Social Services (LSS) of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan

Lutheran Social Services of
Wisconsin and Upper Michigan


Refugee & Immigrant Services

We provide 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 staff educate refugees about American culture and customs.  

We have 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 Now

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 by completing the Contact Us form below.

  • 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). 
  • 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). 
  • 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. By completing the Contact Us form below, we can 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 Our 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?

For information on how you can help as a volunteer, contact us.

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

Download a PDF of the Volunteer Application. Complete 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)

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

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Refugee and Immigration Story

Changing Lives - Bojana Bozic

Bojana Bozic is a Bosnian refugee transformed from a LSS client to a LSS colleague. Learn more about her story.
Published February 2016

Read More


Contact Us




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647 W. Virginia Street
Milwaukee, WI 53204

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© 2016 Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan