International Rescue Committee (IRC)

Welcome to the IRC in Tucson

Letter from Jeffrey Cornish, executive director of the International Rescue Committee in Tucson

On any given day in Tucson, refugees can be seen taking part in activities just like any of us - waiting at bus stops as they make their way to work, shopping in the grocery store, learning in a classroom, working in a restaurant, office or health system. In fact, refugees are just like any of us – they have families, interests, skills, and goals. Except for one thing: they have been forced to flee their homes because of war or persecution based on race, nationality, religious beliefs, political opinions or association with a particular social group. Many have experienced the horror war, torture, witnessed the killings of loved ones, and all have lost their homes and countries.

By the time they arrive in Tucson, they have spent months, years or even decades surviving in refugee camps, where they may have received little medical care, education, or proper nutrition. They have survived conditions unthinkable to most Americans, and yet they persevere; they get married, have children, and form friendships and communities. They survive. Here in Tucson, it’s our job to help them thrive.

Each year, the United States government extends an invitation to nearly 80,000 refugees from the world’s most war-torn and devastated countries to find safe haven in our nation. Since 1997, the IRC in Tucson has welcomed more than 3,000 refugees representing over 23 countries as newcomers to our community. We provide housing and cash assistance, counseling services, wellness promotion, youth development, access to health care, English classes, and help refugees develop the skills they need to secure stable employment. We also help refugees realize their dreams of becoming U.S. citizens.

But we couldn’t do it alone. A dedicated force of volunteers, interns, and community members support our efforts to help refugees find their way “from harm to home.” The IRC in Tucson is honored and privileged to work within such a generous, compassionate and welcoming community.

Thank you, Tucson, for your support of our work and for helping refugees on their journey to realize the American dream.

I invite you to learn more about our services here, or email us at to get involved. I encourage you to visit our website and Facebook page regularly to learn more about our work and how you can join our efforts.


Jeffrey Cornish, Executive Director

The IRC in Tucson

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