refugee & immigrant services northwest


For more than 40 years, Refugee & Immigrant Services Northwest (RISNW) has been helping newly arrived refugees and immigrants rebuild their lives and achieve their full potential as contributing citizens in their new homeland.


NEED HELP? Contact us about COVID Relief Emergency Support.



Refugee & Immigrant Services Northwest is a refugee led, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural organization. Our mission is to empower refugees, immigrants and their families to become self-sufficient and healthy, contributing members of society.

Refugee & Immigrant Services Northwest grassroots beginnings in 1977, started with serving newly arrived Southeast Asian refugees in Snohomish County. We have since grown to become a multi-service organization serving refugees and immigrants living in Snohomish, Whatcom, Skagit, San Juan and Island Counties. Our core staff of 20 full-time and 137 on-call interpreters are fluent in 40 languages and dialects. We value partnerships, collaborations and services delivered by culturally relevant and linguistically appropriate staff who reflect the clients we serve.

We accomplish our mission by providing a comprehensive array of linguistically and culturally appropriate services, and advocate for equitable funding and services for limited English speaking refugees and immigrants.


Through our programs and services, RISNW offers our clients hope and a way to achieve their potential, as we help them move along a pathway to economic independence and successful integration into US society.


  • Partnerships and Collaboration

  • Linguistically and culturally relevant service delivery approaches

  • Transparent and flexible practices

  • Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

  • Refugee and immigrant voice and self determination


RISNW began in 1977 as the Refugee Forum of Snohomish County to help newly arrived refugees from Southeast Asia. Shortly thereafter, our history of collaborative partnerships began as we established our office at Everett Community College. Everett Community College (EvCC) as well as Edmonds Community College (EdCC) and Employment Security Department (ESD) are among early, long-term partners in the delivery of ESL and employment services. We have been a DSHS Office of Refugee and Immigrant Assistance (ORIA) funded service provider for more than 30 years, and a WorkSource partner since 2008.

In 2005, we changed our name to Refugee & Immigrant Services Northwest to reflect our expanded services to Skagit and Whatcom Counties and a broader, more diverse refugee and immigrant population. RISNW is now co-located at Alderwood CSO, Lynnwood WorkSource CSO, EdCC, EvCC, Everett CSO, Everett WorkSource, Carnegie Building (Everett), Bellingham CSO, Mt. Vernon CSO, and by appointment at Smokey Point CSO and Sky Valley CSO.

RISNW group image

Current partnerships exemplify diversity of funding sources and programs.

A few examples include: ORIA PRIME partnership with Diocese of Olympia Refugee Resettlement Office; Snohomish WorkSource consortium with ESD and Housing Hope; Civic Engagement/Get Out to Vote partnership with Asian Counseling and Referral Service and others; I-CATCH consortium with EdCC (lead), EvCC, and others. Our newest collaboration is an LEP Pathway Employment and ESL partnership with World Relief (WR) and the Diocese of Olympia Refugee Resettlement Office (RRO) along with existing ESL partners, EvCC and EdCC.

These partnerships and programs support our mission of helping refugees and immigrants to become self-sufficient and achieve their potential as contributing members of society in their new homeland.