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New Americans

Refugee Resettlement

Helping People Begin Again

Imagine waking up every day fearing for your life because of your race, religion, nationality, social group or political opinions. Picture your family in an environment of constant violence and oppression. Envision a daily life with no way to get a job, little to eat and nowhere to send your children for an education. Consider the sense of loss and yearning from being separated from your spouse, brother, sister, parent... for years or even decades.

Refugees don't need to imagine these circumstances; they lived them and dreamed of a chance to start over. They've persevered.

And, following an intense screening process, they've finally gained legal entrance into the United States.

The next step is to find a specific place to begin anew. For some it is North Dakota.

As the state refugee coordinator appointed by the North Dakota Department of Human Services, Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota is always ready to help. We've been resettling refugees since 1948 and are proud of how the vast majority have gone on to positively contribute to their new communities and economies.

Who is a refugee?

A refugee is a person who has fled his/her country because of fear of persecution based on race, religion, their nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion. North Dakota welcomes about 400 refugees each year. They are resettled in Fargo, West Fargo, Grand Forks and Bismarck.

Annual resettlement in ND, 1997-2015
ND Refugee Statistics

How refugees benefit the community

LSSND role in Refugee Resettlement

Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota is the only federally recognized and approved refugee resettlement organization in the state of North Dakota. We follow strict guidelines throughout the process as set by the United States Government but we also believe that we can represent our Fargo community by welcoming these refugees and equipping them with the tools they need to become self-sufficient. It is our pleasure to assist them in finding a job to support their families and the community, to help them learn English with required classes and to provide them with case management services to help them adjust to their new home.

Case Management Services

Guides newly arrived refugees and secondary migrants through the initial processes necessary for successful resettlement and self-sufficiency.

• Secures an apartment for the family, provides deposit and first month’s rent, basic furnishings, clothing and a two week supply of food.

• Meets the family at the airport and transports them to their new home.

• Provides assistance in applying for Social Security cards, registering adults and children in English Language Learning classes and public education programs.

• Sets up medical appointments and assists in applying for other support services.

• Prepares a self-sufficiency plan together with client and employment specialist. Assists client in identifying and removing barriers to success

Refugee Employment Services

Employment Services is a program of Lutheran Social Services New Americans that empowers refugees to achieve financial independence and employment goals, strengthening the economy.

• Works with area employers looking for workers

• Assists refugees in finding employment as soon as possible

• Assists with placement, follow-up and employment orientation for new clients.

Employers who would like to visit with LSSND employment specialists to talk about partnerships, contact one of our offices:

Fargo: 701-235-7341
Bismarck: 701-223-1510
Grand Forks: 701-772-7577 

Community and national partners

Lutheran Social Services New Americans does not do this work alone. There are many community partners that work every day to help families succeed, to build a life and to thrive.

National partners:

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services
Episcopal Migration Ministries
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Office of Refugee Resettlement
Department of State 

Local partners:

Fargo Public Schools ELL
West Fargo Public Schools ELL
Family Healthcare Center
Cass County Social Services
Cultural Diversity Resources
Fargo Police Dept. Cultural Liaison
Bismarck Public Schools ELL
Grand Forks Public Schools ELL
Global Friends

Presentation to FMWF Chamber of Commerce Policy Breakfast, Nov 2015

Our Impact This Year

  • People received help with immigration-related services


  • Problem gamblers who found help


  • Hours of training provided by Growing Futures to early childhood workforce


  • Seniors provided with companionship in North Dakota


© 2018 Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota

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