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The IRC in Salt Lake City, UT

The International Rescue Committee provides opportunities for refugees, asylees, victims of human trafficking, survivors of torture, and other immigrants to thrive in America. Each year, thousands of people, forced to flee violence and persecution, are welcomed by the people of the United States into the safety and freedom of America. These individuals have survived against incredible odds. The IRC works with government bodies, civil society actors, and local volunteers to help them translate their past experiences into assets that are valuable to their new communities. In Salt Lake City and other offices across the country, the IRC helps them to rebuild their lives. Since opening its doors in 1994, the IRC in Salt Lake City has resettled nearly 12,000 refugees and provided life-changing services to thousands more in the Beehive State. 

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Who are refugees?

Refugees are people fleeing violence and persecution—in Democratic Republic of Congo, Burma, Afghanistan, and other countries in crisis. They are seeking safety and the chance to move their lives forward. Learn more>

Why are refugees arriving in Salt Lake City?

The United States has a long tradition of sheltering those fleeing conflict and persecution. Once refugees have been identified by the United Nations refugee agency and cleared for resettlement, the U.S. government works with the IRC and eight other national resettlement agencies to help them restart their lives in America. Out of the nearly 20 million refugees in the world, fewer than 1 percent are considered for resettlement worldwide.

Refugees may be placed in a city where they have relatives or friends, or where there’s an established community that shares their language or culture. Other considerations include the cost of living and a community’s ability to provide medical services. However, as legal U.S. residents, refugees may live in any city and state they choose.

Utah continues to stand for welcome with leaders willing to speak out in support of refugees and refugee resettlement. The IRC in Salt Lake City is honored to work in a state that chooses to welcome refugees and other New Americans with open arms and provide safety to the most vulnerable people arriving in the U.S. 

Learn more about how refugee resettlement really works.

How does the IRC help refugees in Salt Lake City?

Our programs are designed to ensure refugees thrive in America--whether ensuring children are enrolled in school, adults become self-reliant through employment or starting businesses, or families receive the acute medical care they need to recover from trauma or illness. The IRC helps those in need to rebuild their lives and regain control of their future in their new home community.

Refugees are greeted and welcomed at the airport by IRC caseworkers and volunteers to ensure their transition is as comfortable as possible. The IRC also makes sure newly arrived refugees receive:

  • A furnished and supplied home
  • Temporary help with rent
  • Access to healthcare
  • Nutritious, affordable food
  • English language classes
  • Help building job, computer, and financial literacy skills
  • Education for their children
  • Social services and community support
  • Legal services towards residency and citizenship
  • Small business development

Our programs in Salt Lake City:

  • Resettlement: Meeting the basic needs for food, shelter and legal rights in the early, critical stages of resettlement.
  • Economic Empowerment: Protecting, supporting and improving household livelihoods and financial security, including small business supports.
  • Community Integration and Development: Strengthening communities and preparing individuals to participate fully in American society.
  • Health and Wellness: Promoting wellness and ensuring access to healthcare services that address physical and psychological needs.
  • Children, Youth and Education: Providing educational and developmental opportunities that build the essential academic, personal and social skills needed to succeed.

What services does the IRC provide to the wider community?

The IRC welcomes the opportunity to share our work and the refugee resettlement process through presentations to corporations, civic or religious groups. A member of our Speakers Bureau can discuss our work at your next gathering. Request a member>

We’re also happy to discuss other points of engagement like DIY fundraising, in-kind donations drives, or volunteer activities.

Learn more about other programs offered at the IRC in Salt Lake City and how they benefit our community:

How can I help refugees in Salt Lake City?

You can support our work and the refugees we serve in Salt Lake City by:

Give a one-time or sustaining tax-deductible financial gift either via the website or sent to our office. Give today>

Become a volunteer in support of our work and the refugees we serve. Learn more>

Fulfill your university internship at the IRC in Salt Lake City. Learn more>

Interested in getting your group or team involved in a project at the IRC? Learn more>

Gather new or like-new items to help us welcome newly arrived refugees in Salt Lake City. Learn more>

Host your own Fundraising Campaign at your next event, birthday, neighborhood gathering and more. Get started>

Stay connected and be the first to receive updates:

  1. Sign up for our monthly newsletter>
  2. Follow us on Facebook>

Support in other ways:

  1. Employ refugees.
  2. Connect us to affordable housing options.
  3. Order food from Spice Kitchen Incubator refugee entrepreneurs. Order today>
  4. Visit our Sunnyvale Farmers Market from June to October.

Learn more by emailing us at [email protected].

What do refugees contribute to Salt Lake City?

Once they acclimate to their new environment, refugees often thrive and contribute to their communities, building careers, purchasing homes, gaining citizenship, opening small businesses and adding rich diversity to their new homes.


Welcome from our director

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Salt Lake City opened its doors in 1994. Over that 25-year history in Utah, we have welcomed over 11,000 refugees and served thousands more through our breadth of innovative programs designed to empower refugees, and other new Americans, to create stable families and prosper as they positively integrate into life in the Salt Lake community. Our work not only allows people to find safety and to build a new life, but to find a new home. Through the work of our incredible staff, volunteers, partners and other supporters, we have built a corps of humanitarians to serve those in need.

Natalie El-DeiryNatalie El-Deiry joined the IRC in Salt Lake City in 2010, focused on development and strategic initiatives. Natalie accepted the executive director role in April 2019.

Our impact

In one year, the IRC and our partners in the United States helped:


individuals from refugee and immigrant communities

We help people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover and regain control of their future.

See our impact at a glance

refugees resettle across the country and rebuild their lives

The IRC helps refugees fleeing war and persecution to rebuild their lives in over 20 U.S. cities.

Learn about refugees in America

people with training to help them build careers and income.

Our economic empowerment support includes financial coaching, vocational training and asset building.

Learn more

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