Refugees are people of all ages who are forced from their own countries by war or political unrest and who cannot return for fear of persecution because of their race, ethnicity, religion or political affiliations. Many spend years in refugee camps before they are given permission to enter the United States. They arrive with little more than the clothes they are wearing.
Refugees come here seeking protection and a chance to build a new life. They are eager to learn, to work and to become productive contributors to society. As they become settled, they build businesses, create jobs, revitalize neighborhoods, fuel the economy and strengthen the tax base, enriching their communities.
As the largest refugee resettlement agency in the state and fourth largest in the nation, Samaritas has resettled thousands of people from dozens of countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Central and South America. Samaritas has been the Michigan affiliate of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service since the 1950s. In 2002, Samaritas became the Michigan affiliate of Episcopal Migration Ministries as well.