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Lane County Refugee Resettlement


Program date: June 10, 2022

Air date: June 13, 2022

From the City Club of Eugene:

Among the newcomers to our community are people referred by the US Refugee Admissions Program, the official resettlement program of the United States government. Refugees fled their home countries due to persecution. While overseas, they are reviewed and vetted by the United Nations and/or United States federal agencies, a process that typically takes years. If the refugees are approved for resettlement in the United States, the International Organization for Migration arranges their travel here. Upon arrival, they are granted “refugee” status – a permanent status offering a pathway to citizenship – and receive resettlement assistance.

In Lane County, Catholic Community Services (CCS) provides immediate assistance to anyone in need and supports families as they take positive steps to lift themselves out of poverty. One of the programs that supports this mission is the Refugee and Immigrant Services Program (RISP). Through an innovative and unique collaboration between local faith groups, service organizations, community volunteers and professional staff, RISP is helping neighbors around the world build a prosperous future here in Lane County. As a remote placement agency under contract to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, CCS serves refugees of all faiths, nationalities, and ethnicities.

RISP’s refugee resettlement and asylum seeker assistance programs support refugees, asylum seekers and asylum seekers as they settle in our community. These programs help clients improve their English skills; provide transportation to critical appointments; and supporting clients’ efforts to obtain employment and find and pay for housing. Since 2016, the RISP has resettled 9 immigrants from Syria, El Salvador and Iran. Since October 2021, RISP has resettled 33 people from Afghanistan and provided legal and social services to over 100 asylum seekers.


Christine Zeller Powell is an attorney with the Refugee and Immigrant Services Program at Catholic Community Services (CCS) in Lane County. She was a co-founder and longtime volunteer leader of the Refugee Resettlement Coalition of Lane County, a partner of Catholic Community Services in welcoming and supporting refugees and asylum seekers. She earned BS, MS, and JD degrees from the University of Oregon.

About the City Club of Eugene:

The mission of the City Club of Eugene is to build community vision through open inquiry.

The Club explores a wide range of important local, state and national issues and helps formulate new approaches and solutions to problems. Membership is open to all, and Club members have a direct influence on public policy by discussing issues of interest with elected officials.
officials and other policy makers. The City Club’s mailing address is PO Box 12084, Eugene, OR 97440, and its website is cityclubofeugene.org.

Video and broadcast

This program will be broadcast live and the videotape will be available
on the City Club of Eugene Facebook page and You Tube channel, in addition to our website. It will air on Monday, June 13, at 7:00 p.m., on KLCC 89.7 FM.

Contact: For more information, contact Silver A. Mogart, City Club of Eugene, Executive Director, (541) 485-7433, [email protected]