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Serving Our Community Since 1980.


The Refugee Center was founded in 1980 by Vietnamese refugees to provide commonly needed services to other newly arrived refugees, and to help them acclimatize to American culture. In its 40 years of service to our community, The Refugee Center has expanded its scope to assist all immigrants, political asylees, and refugees, regardless of country of origin.

Support for the Center comes from community members' contributions, the Champaign County United Way Workplace Giving Campaign, the Champaign County Mental Health Board, the Illinois Department of Human Services through the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, the Victor A Hoersch Elderly Service Trust, Champaign-Urbana Jewish Federation, Champaign Rotary Club, the First Presbyterian Church of Champaign, Junior League of Champaign-Urbana, and other private grants and contributions.


Our belief in every person's value makes us genuine, understanding, and able to relate to everyone we help.


We go above and beyond to help our clients, we are trustworthy, and our staff is made up of social service professionals.


We are capable and adaptable, ensuring our continued presence as a source of stability in the community, helping people as we have for 40 years.


We are reliable and dedicated. Our services grow and adapt with our clients needs, and the unique challenges they face.


We are dedicated to those who have chosen to make our community their new home, and understand the context of the challenges they face.

No matter where they are coming from, we have the capacity to help.

Interested in joining us? Start here.

Our Mission

The Refugee Center exists to provide services essential to refugee and immigrant resettlement in East Central Illinois, and to aid in the exchange and preservation of their respective cultures.

As an organization, we believe in the inherent worth of all human beings, regardless of nationality, ethnicity, religion, race, sex or gender, sexual orientation, or cultural heritage. We similarly believe that it is possible and desirable for all human beings to live peacefully together, and to work to create a more loving and compassionate world in which everyone's basic human needs and rights can be secured.

We open the door to new community members, help them get settled in Central Illinois, and encourage our community to understand and embrace its new members. 

Our Mission

Our Staff

We are globally aware but locally focused. We understand the challenges our clients have to face in coming to central Illinois and settling here. Our professional, compassionate staff provide interpretation services and advocacy in court hearings, doctors' appointments, school conferences, and other settings.


We help people find stability in their new homes through counseling, tutoring, community health programs, and support in completing paperwork for work, school, and government programs.

Together, we can make a difference.

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