Refugee Services of Texas, Inc.

Organizational Overview

Refugee Services of Texas, Inc.
500 E. St. Johns Ave., Ste. 1.280
Austin, Texas 78752

Mission Statement

Guided by the principles of human compassion and dignity, Refugee Services of Texas welcomes refugees, immigrants, and other displaced people and supports them in integrating and thriving in their new communities.

Who is Team RST? We are Refugee Services clients, staff, donors, volunteers, community partners and so many more people dedicated to championing the cause of refugees, asylees, survivors of trafficking, and other displaced people in Austin and across Texas. Don't stand on the sidelines. Join Team RST for Amplify Austin this year and be a champion for refugees!

This past year has been one of growth for Team RST! Our player rosters are getting longer not only with new clients but also more volunteers and donors showing their support for refugee resettlement in Texas. Team RST has also been adding new programs to our playbook and events to our season. From health fairs and job training with Google to Survivors of Trafficking Empowerment Program craft classes, Team RST had a big year. Help make the 2017 season even bigger by joining Team RST!

Impact Statement

Over one thousand refugees arrive in Austin each year seeking safety and opportunities for themselves and their families. Refugee Services of Texas supports clients in finding new homes, jobs and opportunities to rebuild their lives. RST serves clients using a strengths-based approach that provides comprehensive programming that empowers families to become self-sufficient and thriving members of the Austin community.

Through resettlement, legal assistance, job training, counseling and social adjustment services, as well as programs like Survivors of Trafficking Empowerment (STEP) and English as a Second Language courses, RST dramatically impacts the lives of refugee and asylee families from around the world. These new Austinites, in turn strengthen the character of our great city and add to the unique diversity of Texas.

A team is only strong if each and every player is supported. By serving refugees and other vulnerable, displaced peoples we help strengthen Austin to become a more viable and lively community, and team, for all of us.

Needs Statement

There are so many ways to be a part of Team RST, but one of the most important ways to become an MVP is to donate! With your donation we can boost our capacity to provide safety, security and the foundation for self-sufficiency for refugees seeking new lives in Austin! Here are some ways your contribution can help your fellow teammates thrive in their new Austin homes.

A little goes a long way…
For $5, you could ensure a new refugee has an alarm clock to wake up for work.
For $25, you could provide a set of dishes for a refugee family of 4 to eat dinner together.
For $50, you could secure transportation for a survivor of human trafficking with a one month bus pass.
For $100, you could provide a family of 6 with one week's worth of groceries.

...and a lot goes even further!
For $500, you could fill a refugee family's apartment with basic household items.
For $1,000, you could provide rental assistance to a refugee family in unique need.
For $5,000 or more, you could help support funding interpretation services or expansion of programs helping refugees and other displaced people integrate and thrive in Austin!

Khalad's Story: From Baghdad to Ft. Worth, TX
Khalad grew up in Baghdad, Iraq, received an accredited university degree, and married the love of her life. As a Sunni Muslim, she witnessed and experienced hatred and violence between extremists in both the Sunni and Shiite sects. Although she and her family were never involved in the violence, they lived amidst kidnapping, torture, and murder for most of their lives. Even in the supposed safety of a doctor's office, Khalad feared for her safety. When she was seven months pregnant, she went to the doctor for a routine examination, but she was induced inappropriately in an attempt to kill her child.

Padam's Story: From Conflict to Camps to Acceptance
Padam was born on a sprawling farm in the small village of Gaylephu in Lodrai, Bhutan where he lived with his family and their livestock including lambs, chickens, and 500 cattle. He does not remember much of his time living peacefully at home because in 1991, when Padam was just a child, violent conflict erupted in his region within Bhutan.

Jean-Claude's Story
Jean-Claude was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where he grew up with his mother and seven sisters. The DRC has a history of violence and rebellion due to political and economic disputes stemming from its colonization. In 1996, the year he turned 16, conditions worsened and life became increasingly more dangerous - mass killings, torture, and rape were rampant. Rebel armies kidnapped able-bodied men and forced them to either join their army or be killed.

Read the full stories at our blog:
Refugee Services of Texas has a variety of volunteer opportunities at all of our service sites! Individual volunteering opportunities include apartment set up, child care, transportation, administration, interpretive or translation services, English language tutoring, case aids, cultural orientation, legal services and human trafficking outreach. We also provide longer term group volunteering through our Welcome Team programs. As a Welcome Team you will assist a newly arrived refugee family get their start in their new Texas communities.