Preferred Communities

The Preferred Communities (PC) program supports refugee and ORR-eligible populations with challenging needs that require special attention, including those with serious medical conditions, women at risk, and elderly refugees. 

The majority of refugees find themselves well on the path to economic independence after enrolling in employment programs. However, the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program also resettles a number of extremely vulnerable individuals who may have difficulty navigating U.S. medical and mental care. For these individuals, the Preferred Communities program offers intensive case management to overcome barriers as they acclimate to life in the U.S. and learn to manage the difficulties they face on their own.

Participating in the Program

The program provides critical interventions and services for refugees with special needs who have arrived within the past five years.

Through Preferred Communities, ORR helps vulnerable populations like:

  • Those experiencing psychological conditions, including emotional trauma resulting from war and other violence
  • Young adults without parents or permanent guardians who have been displaced for extended periods of time
  • Older adults without a family support system
  • Those with physical disabilities or medical conditions

Services include:

  • Long-term case management
  • Health and medical interventions
  • Mental health interventions
  • Social adjustment services

The program also provides resources to assist specialized service providers further develop their capacity to place vulnerable refugees in specific areas of the country where there will be better served.

Program Administration

Preferred Communities program grants are awarded to the nine domestic resettlement agencies holding agreements with the Department of State to provide reception and placement services to refugees. The resettlement agencies in turn administer the Preferred Communities program through their local affiliates in 34 states.

Resettlement Agencies

Current projects for the Preferred Communities program run for five years.

Current Preferred Communities Programs