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Learning About KRM

Q: What is the best way for me to learn more about KRM?

A: You can learn about KRM in a variety of ways. We encourage you to explore the website, subscribe to e-mail newsletters, follow KRM on social media, volunteer in a program, or attend an event. You can also see if any of your questions appear below in these Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

Q: What does KRM stand for?

A: Kentucky Refugee Ministries.

Q: What do you do?

A: With your partnership, KRM makes Kentucky home for refugees. We are a refugee resettlement organization, which means we provide initial and long-term services to help families rebuild their lives. Services range from case management to job development services. You can learn more about who we serve and our programs below and you can also learn more about KRM in the About page.

Q: Are you a nonprofit organization?

A: Yes, KRM is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Q: How long has KRM existed?

A: KRM opened in Louisville in 1990. In 1998, KRM opened a sub-office in Lexington. In 2017, KRM opened a satellite office in Northern Kentucky (Covington), which was re-launched as a sub-office in 2020. You can learn more about KRM’s history on our Resettlement History page.

Q: How many refugees has KRM welcomed?

A: Since opening in 1990, KRM has welcomed over 16,000 refugees to Kentucky. KRM is the largest resettlement agency in Kentucky, operating in Louisville, Lexington, and Northern Kentucky.

Q: How is KRM funded?

A: KRM receives funding from a variety of sources, including federal pass-through support from the Office of Refugee Resettlement, private and family foundations, corporations, faith-based organizations, and individual donors. You can see our recent KRM Partners on our Partners page and in our previous Annual Reports.

Q: How are you governed?

A: As a nonprofit organization, KRM is governed by a Board of Directors. You can see a list of our Board members on our Staff and Board page.

Q: Are you affiliated with any other organizations?

A: KRM is a local affiliate of the national organization Church World Service (CWS). There are nine national resettlement agencies—sometimes called “voluntary” agencies—which partner with the US State Department to deliver resettlement services in local communities. KRM was created out of Highland Presbyterian Church and became its own nonprofit organization. Additionally, KRM partners with numerous local service providers throughout Kentucky in order to deliver services to families.

Q: Is KRM a religious organization?

A: KRM is proud to have a history of interfaith partnership and welcome. The agency was created by members of Highland Presbyterian Church in Louisville, Kentucky, and continues to partner with them and with numerous faith-based communities throughout Kentucky. Many faith-based communities volunteer as ‘co-sponsors’ to welcome families in partnership with KRM.

Out of respect for everyone’s religious freedoms, KRM does not promote any religious messaging to clients and does not allow any proselytizing among staff, volunteers, or agency partners.


Services and Programs

Q: What services are available at KRM?

A: KRM offers various programs to meet people’s basic needs and to empower individuals to rebuild their lives. These include the following: resettlement services including case management, job development and placement, English as a Second Language class, physical and mental health support, family and youth services, services to older refugees, cultural orientation, immigration legal services, and citizenship preparation. Almost all of these services are equally available in Louisville and Lexington. You can learn more about these programs on our Services page.

Services are not available outside of Kentucky, USA. KRM does not provide services in other countries.

Q: For how long can people receive services?

A: For most grant-funded programs, KRM’s services are available for up to five years after an individual’s arrival in the United States. Resettlement services are primarily concentrated within an individual’s first year in the country. Many other programs, such as immigration legal services or job development, are available long-term. Many former clients return to KRM and request additional services, even if years have passed since they first arrived.

Q: Are other community members besides refugees eligible to receive your services?

A: Initial resettlement services are available to individuals assigned to KRM by our national agency, Church World Service (CWS). Additionally, refugees who are already in the United States and who move to Kentucky from another state may also qualify for some services. Some programs require that individuals arrived to the country with a specific immigration status, such as refugees or asylees.

Other programs, such as immigration legal services and citizenship preparation classes, are available to the public. Eligibility for these programs depends on an individual’s immigration status.

Q: How do I refer someone to receive KRM services?

A: Most of the families who receive services from KRM arrive here through the U.S. resettlement program and are referred by a national office. However, many of our longer-term clients and immigration legal services clients are referred by word-of-mouth. If you or someone you know would like to inquire about KRM services, you can visit KRM in person, call our offices, or send us a contact form. The best person to inquire is the person who is seeking services for themselves or their family. KRM offers language support when necessary.

Q: I am a service provider and I would like to consult with you about a shared client. Who do I contact?

A: You can find staff contact information, including job titles, on our Staff page. Due to client confidentiality, KRM staff members may need to follow up with you or the client before sharing any information. Many staff members are frequently in the field and may not be available for immediate consultation.


KRM Offices

Q: Where are your offices located?

A: KRM has a main office in Louisville and sub-offices in Lexington and Northern Kentucky (Covington). You can find more information at our Contact page.

Q: What are your office/business hours?

A: KRM’s Louisville and Lexington offices operate Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. KRM’s Northern Kentucky satellite office is available by appointment.

Q: What is the best way for me to reach KRM staff members?

A: You can find phone and email information for staff members on our Staff & Board page. Please note that you may not be able to immediately reach staff members, because they may be in the field with clients or with local service partners.


Refugee Resettlement Program

Q: What is the history of the refugee program?

A: After World War II, the U.S. began formally welcoming refugees. The U.S. passed legislation to standardize the resettlement process in 1980. Since 1975, the United States has welcomed over 3 million refugees. Each year, the U.S. creates a goal to determine the number of refugees welcomed into the country. Throughout the history of the U.S. refugee resettlement program, yearly projections fluctuate, and in the past, the U.S. has resettled up to 200,000 refugees in one year. You can learn more at the Resettlement History page.

Q: Who is KRM resettling?

A: KRM welcomes refugees from various countries. In recent years, KRM has welcomed refugees who have fled Afghanistan, Bhutan, Burma, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Pakistan, Palestine, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, and Syria. The UNHCR states that over half of refugees are children under the age of 18. You can learn more about who we are resettling on the Resettlement History page.

Q: I’m looking for data/demographic information on refugees in Kentucky. Can KRM provide this for me or direct me to where I can find this information?

A: You may find what you are looking for by contacting the state refugee coordinator’s office: Kentucky Office for Refugees, a division of Catholic Charities. The state refugee coordinator’s office maintains data on statewide refugee communities. You can visit them online for more information.

If you are looking for data specifically on KRM clients, you may contact us to start the discussion. Unfortunately, KRM cannot assist with every request regarding demographic data. If your inquiry is media-related, please see our Press page.


Housing, Employment & Other Partners

Q: I would like to hire a refugee. What do I do?

A: You can learn more about KRM’s Employment Services here. Send us a message through our Contact Form, and we will put you in touch with job developers. You are also welcome to directly contact job developers by finding their information on the Staff & Board page.

Q: I would like to rent an apartment or house to a refugee client. How do I do this?

A: KRM’s Housing Coordinators can talk with you about what it means to be a housing partner. Contact us online and we will put you in touch with the proper staff member. You are also welcome to directly contact Housing Coordinators by finding their information on the Staff & Board page.

Q: I would like KRM to refer your clients to my organization for services. Who do I contact?

A: If you offer services in the community that you think would benefit families receiving services at KRM, please send us a message online or give us a call to start the conversation. Reach us through our Contact Form here. KRM has staff members that specialize in various service areas, and we would be happy to connect you with the proper staff person to answer your questions about service needs and referrals.



Q: How do I become a volunteer?

A: KRM requires that all volunteers to move through a multi-step process: attend orientations, complete an application, and submit a background check (if over the age of 18). These details are available on the Volunteer page.

Q: What age do I have to be in order to volunteer? Can students/children/youth volunteer?

A: An individual between the age of 13-17 can volunteer in certain programs with parental or guardian supervision. Anyone age 18 or above can work with our clients without parental or guardian supervision. Families sometimes bring their children under age 13 with them to volunteer opportunities, depending on the activity. That would be an ideal way for your child to become involved under your supervision.

Q: Can I bring my family or my children with me when I volunteer?

A: Yes, depending on the activity, many families enjoy volunteering together. Some volunteers set up apartments or houses, organize donation drives, and create welcome cards for new families. If you are a member of a co-sponsor team or involved in longer-term tutoring or cultural exchange programs, you may ask the client you are working with if your families can spend time together. We encourage this bonding and ask that you request their permission first before bringing your family to a refugee client’s home.

Q: What is the time commitment for volunteering?

A: No matter your schedule, you can find a volunteer commitment that works for you. Because we have numerous volunteer opportunities, the time commitment ranges. You can participate as little or as often as you would like. Some volunteers donate their time to help at a few special events each year, some volunteer once a month, and some prefer a weekly program that lasts for a few months.

Q: Do you have any volunteer opportunities in the evenings or weekends?

A: Yes, if you are looking to volunteer on the evenings of weekends, we would love to have you! KRM hosts some special events, and we always need volunteers for these activities. Other volunteer programs—such as tutoring, mentoring, cultural exchange, and college readiness—can occur in evenings or on weekends as well.

Q: What is a co-sponsor? Who can do this?

A: A co-sponsor is an organized group of volunteers from the community that supports one refugee family through a formalized, multi-month welcoming program. They may be groups from a specific faith community, a service group like a Rotary Club, or a business. You can learn more at our Co-Sponsor page.


Donating Goods

Q: Does KRM accept donated items? What donated items do individuals and families served by KRM need the most?

A: Yes, KRM accepts donated furniture and household items to provide to newly-resettled refugees and immigrants. You can find information about what items are collected on the Donate Items page.

Q: Does KRM accept clothing and shoe donations?

A: Sometimes! KRM collects clothing and shoe donations during seasonal drives, such as a winter coat drive once per year. To stay up to date on drives, sign up for our e-mail newsletter and follow us on social media. Outside of these seasonal drives, KRM does not collect clothing items.


Donating Funds – Become a KRM Partner

Q: Are donations to KRM tax-deductible?

A: Yes, KRM is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and your donations to KRM are tax-deductible. You will receive a letter for your tax records after making your donation. Please contact us if you have any questions or would like to request a letter about your donation.

Q: How can I donate online? How can I set up a monthly donation?

A: You can donate online with a credit or debit card. After submitting your information and clicking donate, an online form will ask you for your payment information. You can also choose to make your gift a recurring gift, such as on a monthly basis. You will see an alert when the donation was successfully made and you will receive a confirmation email. Please contact us if you have any questions or need any assistance.

Q: How can I donate offline?

A: You can donate offline by sending a check made payable to Kentucky Refugee Ministries or KRM to our offices. You can find our office addresses at our Contact page.

Q: Do you accept gifts from a donor-advised fund or a charitable giving account?

A: Yes, we regularly accept gifts from these types of accounts. We want to properly recognize all of our supporters who give through a charitable giving account or donor-advised fund. If you can, please contact us to let us know if we should expect a first-time gift from you in this way. Thank you!

Q: Do you accept stock donations?

A: Yes, please contact Executive Director John Koehlinger at or (502) 479-9180 x 511 to discuss making a gift of stock.

Q: Do you offer planned giving opportunities? Do you accept legacy gifts?

A: Yes. Thank you for wanting to include KRM in your estate planning. Please contact Executive Director John Koehlinger at or (502) 479-9180 x 511 to discuss planned giving options.

Q: How are donated funds used?

A: Your gift makes an impact on the lives of newcomers by supporting KRM’s vital programs and service areas. Learn more about how you can change lives. Please contact us if you want to discuss a gift designated to a specific program or purpose.

Q: My business/company would like to host a fundraiser for KRM. How can we do this?

A: Businesses such as restaurants and shops have hosted fundraisers in which they donated a portion of proceeds to KRM. We welcome these partnerships and ask that you contact us to discuss your idea. We would be happy to assist you with promotion for your event.

Q: My foundation/business/company wants to support KRM’s work by donating or providing grant funding. How can we do this?

A: Thank you for wanting to partner with KRM. Please contact Executive Director John Koehlinger at or (502) 479-9180 x 511 to discuss this more.


Speakers, Presenters, and Projects

Q: Can KRM send a staff speaker to my business/school/organization?

A: Yes, we would be happy to try to arrange a KRM speaker if your activity involves educating the community about refugee issues or about KRM’s work serving refugees.

Send your request to KRM at least one month (30 days) before your event and include details such as event type, date, time and duration, audience, and if any honorarium is included.

We will do our best to secure a speaker if your request aligns with our mission and capacity. KRM receives numerous requests for speakers; we apologize that we cannot assist with every speaking engagement.

Q: I am doing a project on refugees and immigrants [for school/work/extracurriculars]. What project ideas do you recommend or need?

A: Projects that would benefit KRM and the families we serve may differ throughout the year. When you are crafting a project idea, here are some key questions to consider: How do you see this project assisting KRM and/or the families we serve? What do you want this project to accomplish? Is this a project you can manage all by yourself? What help will you be asking of KRM? What languages do you speak or will you need access to interpretation? How do you anticipate paying for any costs related to the project?

You can make a lasting impact with your project ideas. Thank you for your interest and we look forward to discussing this with you. Please contact us to get the conversation started.

Q: I am doing a project on refugees and immigrants for school/work/extracurricular. May I interview KRM staff members or clients to ask about their experiences?

A: If you would like to request to interview a KRM client or staff member, please send us your request at least two months (60 days) before you expect to conduct the interview. Due to limited staff availability and client confidentiality/privacy, KRM may not be able to assist with each request.



Q: I am with the press. Who do I contact with a media inquiry?

A: All press inquiries should be directed to either Executive Director John Koehlinger (Louisville) or Sub-Office Director Mary Cobb (Lexington). You can find contact information at our Press page.

Q: I would like to feature KRM’s refugee and immigrant clients in my work as a photographer/artist/musician/filmmaker. How can I get involved?

A: Please contact KRM at least two months (60 days) prior to your when you want to begin the project. KRM cannot oblige all of these requests out of respect for staff capacity and client privacy.

Q: I would like to use KRM’s logo to promote our partnership / for an event I’m hosting / for another reason. How can I obtain this?

A: To request KRM’s logo, please contact us at with ‘Logo Request’ in the subject line or send us a Contact Form.

Q:  Who took the photos on your website?

A: Photos from the website were taken by various photographers who graciously donated their time and talents to KRM. These photographers include former KRM Board member Gary Guthrie, volunteers Megan Resch and Steve Pavey, and former staff member Portia Watson.

Q: I would like to use the photos on your website. Can I do this?

A: All photos on KRM’s website are property of KRM and/or the photographer. Email with ‘Photo Request’ in your subject line. Since the photographs were taken by various photographers, we would like to provide accurate credit wherever possible.

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