our programs


MEIRS is proud to serve as a resettlement agency under the Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC), facilitating the smooth transition of refugees into their new lives in Maine. Through our Reception & Placement program, we provide comprehensive support to ensure that refugees feel welcomed, safe, and empowered from the moment they arrive.

Our dedicated staff works diligently to prepare housing for incoming refugees, ensuring it is furnished and ready for their arrival. We go the extra mile by personally greeting refugees at the airport and assisting with transportation to their new homes. To provide a warm welcome, we offer culturally appropriate, hot meals upon arrival, ensuring that refugees feel nourished and comforted in their new surroundings.

MEIRS recognizes the importance of collaboration and partnerships to effectively serve newly arrived refugees. We actively engage with schools, social service agencies, employers, and local government entities to establish strong connections and enhance support systems for refugees settling in Maine. Our ultimate goal is to empower refugees to achieve economic and financial independence, fostering self-sufficiency and long-term success.

As part of our resettlement efforts, MEIRS provides a wide range of essential services, including:

♦ Reception services to ensure a smooth arrival and initial orientation

♦ Decent, safe, and sanitary housing for individuals and families

♦ Culturally appropriate, ready-to-eat meals upon arrival

♦ Adequate food supplies to meet immediate needs

♦ Seasonally appropriate clothing to ensure comfort and well-being

♦ Home visits by our trained staff to provide ongoing support and guidance

♦ Assistance with enrolling children and adults in school, ensuring access to education

♦ Transportation assistance for various needs

♦ Cultural orientation to help refugees acclimate to their new environment

♦ Support in securing employment opportunities for those able to work

♦ Connections with healthcare services for comprehensive medical support

♦ Assistance with enrolling in social services designed to promote self-sufficiency

♦ Limited financial assistance to address immediate needs

♦ Guidance and support with immigration services, including asylum and Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) applications


MEIRS understands that some newcomers require a more comprehensive and longer-term approach to successfully integrate into the local community due to specific vulnerabilities they face. Through the Preferred Communities (PC) program, we provide specialized support to populations with severe medical conditions, limited family support systems, or experiencing psychological trauma. Eligible individuals can enroll in the program within five years of their arrival in the United States, and they receive intensive case management for a duration of 180-365 days.

The PC program is open to various ORR-eligible populations, including refugees, asylees, victims of trafficking, Cuban/Haitian entrants, Amerasians, and Special Immigrant Visa holders. It aims to address specific vulnerabilities, such as social or psychological difficulties, survivors of torture, youth and young adults without parents, elderly individuals lacking family support, and individuals with disabilities or medical conditions.


Participants in the PC program receive dedicated support from their case managers, who work closely with them to address their unique needs and navigate the complex landscape of mental health and medical care in the United States. Our case managers assist individuals in overcoming barriers, accessing necessary resources, and connecting with community services to achieve self-sufficiency and thrive in mainstream society.

The PC program provides comprehensive case management services to ensure that individuals receive the necessary support to overcome their challenges. This includes guidance in accessing medical and mental health care, navigating social services, securing housing, obtaining employment, and accessing educational opportunities. By providing holistic support and empowering individuals to reach their full potential, we aim to facilitate their successful integration and long-term well-being.

At MEIRS, we believe in the importance of tailoring our services to meet the specific needs of vulnerable newcomers. The PC program exemplifies our commitment to providing intensive and personalized support to individuals who require additional assistance on their resettlement journey. Through collaboration with community resources and the dedication of our case managers, we strive to empower participants to overcome their barriers, build resilience, and achieve self-sufficiency in their new lives.


MEIRS recognizes the critical role that employment plays in the successful integration and self-sufficiency of refugees. Our Employment Services program is specifically designed to assist new refugees in finding meaningful employment opportunities that align with their skills, interests, and goals.

♦ Job Readiness Training

We provide comprehensive job readiness training to equip refugees with essential skills and knowledge for the U.S. job market. This includes resume building, interview preparation, workplace etiquette, and understanding employment laws and rights. Our training programs are tailored to meet the specific needs of refugees and address any cultural or language barriers they may encounter.

♦ Job Placement Assistance

MEIRS has established strong partnerships with local employers across various industries. Our dedicated employment specialists work closely with these employers to identify job openings that align with the skills and qualifications of our refugee clients. We facilitate job placements by matching refugees with suitable employment opportunities and coordinating interviews and job fairs.

♦ Vocational Training and Skill Development

For refugees who require additional training or skill development to access certain job sectors, we provide vocational training programs. These programs offer specialized instruction in fields such as healthcare, construction, hospitality, IT, and more. By acquiring industry-specific skills, refugees can enhance their employability and access a wider range of job opportunities.

Language and Communication Support

We recognize that language proficiency is crucial for successful employment. Our employment services include language support programs that help refugees improve their English language skills, both in general communication and in job-specific contexts. We offer language classes, conversation groups, and workplace language training to enhance their language abilities and boost their confidence in professional settings.

♦  Job Retention and Advancement

Securing employment is just the first step. MEIRS is committed to ensuring that refugees not only find jobs but also retain them and have opportunities for career growth. We provide ongoing support and mentorship to help refugees navigate workplace challenges, adapt to new environments, and develop strategies for career advancement. We also offer guidance on professional development, networking, and accessing additional educational or training opportunities.

Employer Engagement

To foster successful partnerships between refugees and local employers, MEIRS actively engages with businesses and organizations in the community. We promote awareness about the skills and contributions that refugees bring to the workforce and advocate for inclusive hiring practices. Through employer outreach and collaboration, we aim to create employment opportunities that are mutually beneficial for refugees and the local economy.

At MEIRS, we understand that employment is more than just a means of financial stability. It is a pathway to self-reliance, empowerment, and integration into the community. Through our comprehensive Employment Services program, we are dedicated to assisting new refugees in their journey towards meaningful employment, economic independence, and a brighter future. 


If you want to know more about our employment services please contact  our employment specialist :


To refer someone, please contact MEIRS:

  • please contact MEIRS by calling 207-782-0260
  • emailing us at
  • visiting us at and clicking on the referral link to learn more about BHS services.

Maine Immigrant & Refugee Services


Call:       207-782-0260
Fax:        207-782-0261

Mailing Address

Maine Immigrant & Refugee Services
256 Bartlett Street
Lewiston, ME 04240

Main Street Office

Maine Immigrant & Refugee Services
217 Main Street
Lewiston, ME 04240

Bartlett Street Office

Maine Immigrant & Refugee Services
256 Bartlett Street
Lewiston, ME 04240

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