The Soft Landing Fund directly supports the housing needs of refugee and immigrant families who have fled their countries to resettle in Northern California.

In Sacramento, Oakland, San Jose, and Turlock/Modesto, the IRC has resettled over 3,500 new arrivals in since August 2021 - more than twice as many as the previous year. Our new arrivals have come from Afghanistan, Ukraine, Eritrea, Syria, Central America, and many parts of the world.

Northern California cities are some of the most welcoming in the nation. Our region is a preferred destination because of our vibrant refugee and immigrant communities. Despite challenges in housing, we have been welcoming new families each day, thanks to supporters like you.

100% of your donation to the Soft Landing Fund will support emergency temporary housing, rental subsidies, and utility assistance for our newly arrived families.

Thank you for your support.

Give online to the Soft Landing Fund.

You may also mail a check, with "Soft Landing Fund" in the memo line to:

Soft Landing Fund, IRC-Northern California, 440 Grand Avenue, Suite 500 | Oakland, CA 94610

For more information, please contact Development Director, Michael Magnaye.

Additional Information

Soft Landing Fund History

The Need: Refugees only receive a one-time amount of $1,125 per person to cover initial basic costs and this amount is the same regardless of where in the country they are resettled. The majority of refugees arriving in Northern California are coming to join family members who are often not yet financially stable themselves. As a result, the refugees served by the International Rescue Committee typically require additional financial support as they get on their feet in the United States.

A Solution: You can help! The Soft Landing Fund provides housing assistance for refugees who have arrived in the last six months. 100% of your donation will be disbursed to refugee families in need of modest support with rent and utilities after their first 30 days. 

A Story: One benefitting family is the Aryas, who arrived from Afghanistan in October of 2017. The young couple, Abdul & Hadia*, had three small daughters in tow and were joining Hadia’s sister and her family, who had lived in the U.S. for three years. Hadia’s brother-in-law found an open apartment in their Walnut Creek complex. This potential to be close to family support was a relief to the Aryas. A monthly rent of $1,850 felt daunting, but not impossible once they got on their feet. The challenge would be the initial months while they acclimated and Abdul looked for work, hopefully in construction as he was a civil engineer in Afghanistan.  

Through The Soft Landing Fund, they were able to get a total of $3,150 in rental support with the monthly payment decreasing each month. Today, Abdul has a job and is studying for the building standards test that will allow him to work in his field. The two older girls are in school, and Hadia attends ESL and stays home with their toddler.

When asked how The Soft Landing Fund has helped his family, Abdul said, “Starting over in a new country is not easy; everything must begin from zero, and the first six months are a challenging transition period in resettlement. Without the IRC’s financial and emotional support it would not be possible. The housing subsidy was especially helpful for us, covering part of our rent.  I greatly appreciate your efforts for me and my family; it has been more than we expected but very much needed.”

*First names changed to protect the family's safety & privacy.