The IRC in Missoula, MT

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 Missoula and other offices across the country, the IRC helps them to rebuild their lives.

Who are refugees?

Refugees are people fleeing violence and persecution—in Syria, Afghanistan, D.R. Congo, and other countries in crisis. They are seeking safety and the chance to move their lives forward.

Why are refugees arriving in Missoula?

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 chose.

Learn more about how refugee resettlement works.

How does the IRC help refugees in Missoula?

The first IRC office in Missoula was opened in 1979 in response to a local request to assist Hmong, living in refugee camps in Thailand, to relocate to Montana. Over the following ten years, IRC resettled a total of 551 refugees, mainly Hmong.  In 2016, IRC was approached by a local advocacy group, Soft Landing Missoula,  who wanted  to restart resettlement again. With its help and the support of local officials and community members the IRC launched an effort to reestablish IRC's Missoula presence.


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

  • A furnished home
  • Help with rent
  • Health care
  • Nutritious, affordable food
  • English language classes
  • Help building job, computer, and financial literacy skills
  • Education for their children
  • Social services and community support

In the coming year, the IRC will also begin providing legal services towards residency and citizenship.

What services does the IRC provide to the wider community?

The IRC in Missoula aims to provide many services to the broader community. 

In 2024, the IRC in Missoula will provide free tax services to qualifying tax payers through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. You can learn more about the program here and if you're eligible, sign up for an appointment today!

Additionally, the IRC in Missoula is providing educational opportunities in 2024 which are open to the public. 

  • On the 1st Thursday of each month, drop-in to the IRC between 3:30 - 5:30pm with all your questions and concerns related to digital literacy. We recommend bringing your own laptop (though not required) and interpretation is provided. 
  • Want to take control of your finances? In collaboration with Clearwater Credit Union, the IRC is offering an ongoing financial education course. Each week will feature a new topic. If you miss a week, don't worry! The topics will rotate continually. The courses will be held in English with the following interpretation schedule 
    • 2nd Monday | 5:30 - 7:30 pm | Dari/Pashto 
    • 2nd Tuesday | 5:30 - 7:30 pm | Arabic
    • 2nd Thursday | 5:30 - 7:30 pm | Swahili 
How can I help refugees in Missoula?

There are many ways that you can get involved with the IRC’s work in Missoula. You can:

Make a donation - Monetary donations, or in-kind donations for our Stop and Shop where individuals and families working with the IRC can find household items such as bedding, cleaning supplies, clothes, etc.

Volunteer - Volunteers are integral to refugees' success as they arrive in the United States. Learn about opportunities to support refugees in Missoula. 

Subscribe to our newsletter - Receive monthly updates from the IRC in Missoula regarding our office's growth, volunteer opportunities, community events, and more!

What do refugees contribute to Missoula?

Once they acclimate to their new environment, refugees often thrive and contribute to their communities, building careers, purchasing homes, gaining citizenship.

Our impact


people in the U.S. received asylum and protection support.

IRC offices across the U.S. provide immediate aid--including food, housing and medical attention—among other support.

Learn about resettlement and asylum


people were assisted to become new U.S. citizens.

The IRC offers high-quality, low-cost immigration legal services and citizenship assistance in cities across the U.S.

Learn about immigration


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

people with training to help them build careers and income.

Learn more