OUR STORY

 

Refugee resettlement has been taking place in the state of Oregon for decades. For the past 30 years refugees who were forced to flee their homelands, and were chosen for resettlement in the state of Oregon, were initially resettled in the Portland metro area. Due to the rising costs of housing in Portland, agencies began to expand resettlement to the city of Salem at the end of 2015. There was an overwhelming response of support and volunteer efforts throughout the city. In October 2016, Salem Leadership Foundation hosted a series of lunch meetings called “Welcoming Our New Neighbors.” The purpose of these meetings was to bring together the various groups and organizations that were seeking to care for refugees and explore how the efforts could be coordinated. At the end of these meetings, Salem For Refugees was formed in order to continue the collaboration in caring for our new neighbors! Salem For Refugees is a growing network of community members, businesses, government organizations, non-profits, resettlement agencies, and faith communities who are committed to empowering refugees to thrive in Salem.

OUR MISSION

OUR MISSION

Salem For Refugees exists to bring together people and resources to empower refugees to thrive in Salem, Oregon.

WHO WE ARE

Salem For Refugees is a network of resettlement agencies, faith communities, businesses, non-profits, government organizations, and community members who work together to make our city a welcoming place for our new international neighbors.

OUR VISION

Our vision is to see all refugees in Salem as valued, thriving, contributing members of our community.

MEET THE CO-DIRECTORS

Doug Holcomb

CO-DIRECTOR

Anya Holcomb

CO-DIRECTOR

Co-Directors of Salem For Refugees, Doug and Anya Holcomb, bring to the team broad international experience, a deep love for other cultures, and a passion for justice. Anya has her Masters in Social Work from Portland State University, and Doug has his Masters in Business Administration from Concordia University. After working for a relief and development organization in Eastern Europe, the Holcombs were compelled to respond to the global refugee crisis. They founded Salem For Refugees in October 2016 in partnership with Salem Leadership Foundation, Salem Alliance Church, and the broader Salem community. In addition to directing Salem For Refugees, Doug and Anya are the Pastors of Refugee Ministries at Salem Alliance Church.

MEET THE TEAM

Ali Al Omrani

ADVISORY MEMBER
New Neighbor Representative
Salem-Keizer School District

Marie Howard

ADVISORY MEMBER
Volunteer and Donations Coordinator, Admin Assistant
Salem For Refugees

Sam Skillern

ADVISORY MEMBER
Community Liaison
Salem Leadership Foundation

Allie West

ADVISORY MEMBER
Refugee Resettlement Agency
Lutheran Community Services NW

Chrissy Chapman

ADVISORY MEMBER
Education Resource Team

Gerry Griffin

ADVISORY MEMBER
Employment Resource Team

Alice Phalan

ADVISORY MEMBER
English Resource Team
Mid-Valley Literacy Center

Jenny Barischoff

ADVISORY MEMBER
Housing Resource Team
Ariana House

Matthew Westerbeck

ADVISORY MEMBER
Refugee Resettlement Agency
Catholic Charities of Oregon

Karen Macdonald

ADVISORY MEMBER
Education Resource Team
Salem-Keizer School District

Lauren McNaughton

ADVISORY MEMBER
Healthcare Resource Team

Bruce Dudley

ADVISORY MEMBER
Healthcare Resource Team