Local Refugee Care

Welcoming our Newest Neighbors

Refugee Care Calendar

Coming soon!

Refugee Care Teams

Join a team to care well for our Refugee friends in El Cajon, San Diego, and Carlsbad.

RESOURCE HELPERS:  If you have an understanding of Unemployment, CalFresh, Internal Revenue, or other agencies, we are looking for volunteers who would come alongside (maybe on Zoom) refugees to help them find available resources, navigating the application processes, etc.

FRIEND TEAM: (Intentional Small Group) These are friends who act like family. They are trustworthy, and committed for the long term. People who have attended or are willing to attend cultural training.  Start by going along to visit a refugee family with trained volunteers.

WELCOME BABY TEAM: Help us welcome refugee babies with diapers (all sizes), basic care supplies, clothing (gently used, not stained are fine), new or like new toys (all parts), swings, car seats (clean and unexpired for any age), etc.  Be part of donating, collecting, cleaning, sorting, or delivering (a few friendly faces bringing gifts will really encourage the new moms!) Email us to join this team.

ENGLISH TUTORING:  Email us to get involved. You can start now and we will offer classes along the way to teach you more. Tutor with a group of volunteers in El Cajon, or some weeks by Skype or WhatsApp and some by home visits.  Lots of options. Start a life-changing friendship while sharing basic english.

HOUSING HELP: Help find affordable housing! Liaise with Friend Team as they look for a specific family’s needs and match with available housing option. Also brainstorm other solutions from buying apartment buildings to finding homes for multiple families. Investigate all types of rental assistance options including employer-based rental assistance.

WELCOME BASKETS: Manage and facilitate the donation and gifting of home essentials for new refugee families and to encourage refugee families as they start to get settled in the U.S.  Fill a new laundry basket with liquid laundry soap, dish soap, hand soap, t.p., mop, broom & dustpan, toothpaste, toothbrushes, your favorite handy gadget, etc. or donate a few new basic household items and the friend team can deliver what’s needed by any particular family.

EVENTS TEAM: Plan connection opportunities for Refugee Families to meet new friends in non-threatening environments. These would be entry points for people interested in joining a Friend Team to get involved and meet some Families. Some ideas would be picnics, ice skating, BBQs…

JOBS TEAM: Help find jobs for refugees depending on their skills, language ability and location. This team would also explore different levels of job placement, as well as get to know companies who are more open to some of the presupposed barriers to employing a refugee.  They could also oversee planning a job fair and job training.

SKILLS + RESOURCES TEAM: Identify and employ volunteers with various skills to areas of need. Manage database/project managemett software with contact info, interest areas and communication with volunteers. This will include people from all participating North County churches who want to be involved.

STORY BUILDERS: Collect success stories of great relationships that have been built, as well as families or individuals who have made the most of opportunities. Think of creative ways to share these.

Other areas for involvement:
• Fundraising Team
• Trauma Care
• Training: E.S.L., Finance + Budget, Car Repair, Kid’s Education
• IT: Communication, Web Page, Resources / Helps, Contact info
• Advocate: Child Education, Job, Medical, Legal
• Translators: Arabic and Farsi

If you would like to be involved in any of these areas, or just want some more info email Refugee Care

Refugee Care Collaborative Members

Types of Immigrants

  • REFUGEE – individuals who are unable or unwilling to return to their country of origin or nationality because of persecution or a well founded fear of persecution and has crossed an international border. Refugees are eligible for protection in large part based on race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. They are outside the U.S. when they apply and are screened for resettlement.
  • ASYLUM SEEKER – are like refugees except they submit their applications while they are physically in the U.S. or at a U.S. port of entry. They use a different process and agency for their application.
  • S.I.V. (Special Immigrant Visas) – Iraqi or Afghan people who were employed by Americans and resettled legally in the U.S.
  • UNACCOMPANIED MINORS – an immigrant who is under 18 and not in the care of a parent or legal guardian at the time of entry.
  • MIGRANT – one who chooses to move in order to improve the future prospects for themselves and their family.
  • I.D.P. (Internally Displaced Person) someone who is forced to flee their home but remains in their home country.



Volunteer Resources

Cars, License, ID, Belts, Car Seats, Bikes, Bus, Train, Trolley

Dept of Motor Vehicles  For Driving License or ID Card: Requirements, Drivers Handbook Instruction Permits, Appointments and Tests (translation services), Replacement Cards Vehicle: Title (Buy/Sell) or Licensing Other: Disability Placards, Address Change  Publications

Seat Belts – positioning and age requirements

Child Carseats expiration dates and proper use – be sure that the family knows when that is, also how to properly use the seat: here

Bike Safety (please review this when giving bikes – include helmet and good lock with instructions on proper locking too)  There is a PDF version that you can download and print out.

NCTD:  North County Transportation for Buses, Coaster (commuter train), Sprinter (light rail), Flex and Lift

MTS  San Diego Metropolitan Transit – Bus and Trolley

Immigration: Green Card (I-485), Naturalization/Citizenship (N-400) and more

(See also the LEGAL toggle below this one for more helps)

USCIS Immigration – for green card, citizenship, case status, etc

USCIS Green Card (after 1 year)

Legal Help SD Pro Bono

northcountycitizenship.org – Solana Beach Presbyterian Church Immigration and Citizenship Center


See also the LEGAL toggle below this one for more helps

Legal Help

San Diego Christian Legal Aid

(SDCLA): http://www.sdclegalaid.org/

Appointment Line:  (858) 230-2321. (office on Faraday in Carlsbad).  Including Immigration, Family Law, Evictions, Labor/Employment, Small Claims, and more. (for people of any religion/belief)

Three clinics

  • Church at Rancho Bernardo, 11740 Bernardo Plaza Ct, Rancho Bernardo 92128 (2nd Saturdays)
  • The Bridge Church (offices) at 4346 54th St (2d floor), San Diego 92115 (3rd Saturdays)
  • Tri-City Bible Church, 302 N. Emerald Dr, Vista (4th Saturdays)

Legal Aid Society of San Diego

(LASSD):  lassd.org

Lots of helps across SD County, including Immigration, Mental and Behavioral Health, SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) Claims. Custody / Visitation / Divorce / Restraining Orders, CalWorks / CalFresh (food stamps), Federal Tax, Free Clinics, Housing: Eviction, Public Housing, Housing Discrimination, etc., Access to Health Care, and more.

North County Immigration and Citizenship Center


120 Stevens Ave, Solana Beach, CA 92075, 858-509-2589

Education Resources

Computers 4 Kids:  Discount priced laptop and desktop computers

ESL Links and Resources through Laubach San Diego

Grossmont Adult School  (Online or Classroom – El Cajon)

Grossmont Adult Health Occupation Center – El Cajon

East Region Adult Education (English as a Second Language, Automotive, Art, Welding, Upholstery, and more…)

AVID Program  Excellent program for refugee kids and youth to help close the achievement gap.

Mira Costa Job Training Programs

San Diego Electrical Apprenticeships http://sdett.org/career-opportunities/  (Inside Wireman or Telecommunications – Sound Tech.

College Scholarships and Loans Site

GED and Citizenship online free classes:  https://classroom.usahello.org/

Tutoring Helps

I would order the following programs:  Raz-Kids, Reading A-Z, Raz-Plus, ELL, READY Test A-Z, Writing A-Z  This program reads the leveled passage to the student. If while the student is reading independently and comes to an unknown word the program reads the word out loud to them. It will say the word as many times they need it to be successful.


Medical Resources

CA State Disability HERE

Job Search Resources

Employment Agencies

A good starting place for jobs is with employment agencies, They have different types of job targets depending on the agency.  They are often the door into permanent positions. The agencies are paid by placing people in jobs – so the right agency will work to do that.  Here are a few of the agencies we’ve seen be helpful (this isn’t a complete list and not a guarantee but is a resource list).  It is helpful for the refugee mentor/advocate to go along to help with the process.

Job Search Sites

North County Sites

  • North County Lifeline Inc. (http://www.nclifeline.org/) – Employment services, 200 Michigan Avenue, Vista, CA 92084, 760-726-4900 or 760-757-0118
  • North County Coastal Career Center (http://workforce.org/career-centers/north-county/north-county-coastal-career-center) – 1949 Avenida del Oro, Ste.106, Oceanside, CA 92056 – 760-631-6150. Also a Center at Encinitas Library 540 Cornish, Encinitas, CA 92024 760-631-6160 (call for hours).
  • Community Resource Center (http://www.communityresourcecenter.org/socialservices.html) – new “Back to Work” Program: creating a path to self-sufficiency comes through the Back To Work (BTW) program. The goal of this training program is to assist their clients with re-entering the workforce and finding full-time employment.Back-to-Work Thrift Store & Donation Center 1405 S. El Camino Real • Oceanside, CA 92054 • (760) 231-7909, Thrift Store & Back-to-Work Enterprise Information: 760-753-1156,
  • CalJOBS (https://www.caljobs.ca.gov/vosnet/Default.aspx) – Search the full-service employment center to find and view job openings, create and post resumés, look for training, and much more.

Until you find a Job

A work in progress – check back for more links soon.

We hope to develop a team that can offer a Career Hub like this one:  https://careerhubclarkston.com/

Housing Search and Rent / Utility Help Resources

Go first to northcoastcalvary.org/help for current rental and utility helps

  • San Diego Housing Commission (for Section 8 Housing):  http://www.sdhc.org/Rental-Assistance/Waiting-List-Applicants/ SDHC has a very long wait list – but sign up asap to get on the list.  If you apply in other states where the wait is shorter you would need to move for a year then can (usually) port your voucher back to CA.
About Cultures and Languages

•  N-Culture –  HERE

•  Helpful information about different cultures:  https://therefugeecenter.org/resources/cultural-background/

Global Recordings Network USA  HERE Audio recordings and more in various languages and dialects.

Miscellaneous Helps
AUNT BERTHA HELPS:  This is a good helps resource:  https://anthembluecross.auntbertha.com/
August 5, 2021 – Food and Diaper Distribution – Rock Church San Marcos details:  https://www.sdrock.com/events/21625/


UTILITIES Help paying utility bills – can call San Diego County: (619) 391-9790  / Utility Assistance. Phone appts on Mon or Weds  8a-1130 1p-3:30.p  you will need:  1. current SDGE bill,  2. proof of income 30 days for all working age adults (working or not) 3. CA Picture ID  and 4. Social Security Card.  Website:  HERE.

El Cajon Family Resource Center – government helps  www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/sdc/hhsa/facilities/east/family_resource_center_el_cajon.html

Diaper Banks all over San Diego County are a great resource for families Here

CalFresh – help putting food on your table  www.getcalfresh.org/

PHONE SERVICES (Compare these options: )