Our office is located at 1925 E. Dublin Granville Rd. Suite 102, Columbus, 43229.
Who We Are
Community Refugee and Immigration Services (CRIS) is an independent non-profit organization that serves the growing refugee and immigrant populations in Central Ohio. We have over 60 staff members that hail from more than 15 countries with many languages represented. Many of our staff persons have been refugees themselves and are integral members of the communities we serve. Our office is open Monday through Friday 8:30-4:30, and all are welcome. Please call to schedule a visit!
Community Refugee and Immigration Services began as the outreach service of the Buddhamamaka Society, Inc., a mutual assistance association founded in 1987 by refugees from Laos. In 1995, the Society established CRIS in response to the unexpected closings of two local refugee resettlement offices in order to meet the evolving needs of central Ohio’s increasingly diverse community. The Society provided space for CRIS in the garage located next to the Lao Temple on Columbus’ east side. Initial funding for services was provided by a grant from the Columbus Foundation and a contract with the Franklin County Department of Human Services.
In 1999, CRIS was selected by the City of Columbus and United Way to open its second office in order to return services to immigrants in the Hilltop area on Columbus’ west side. In the same year, CRIS became an independent 501(c)(3) organization, while retaining a close relationship with the Buddhamamaka Society.
In 2001, CRIS became the Church World Service (CWS) Ohio affiliate to provide refugee resettlement services (reception and placement of refugees admitted to the United States from overseas). An additional office was opened on the north side of Columbus in proximity to the growing refugee population in the area.
In 2004, the agency was approved for Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) Recognition, a designation authorizing CRIS to represent clients before the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS, formerly the INS) and the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR).
In 2010, CRIS grew again to serve as an affiliate of Episcopal Migrations Ministries (EMM) to expand the agency’s ability to resettle refugees fleeing persecution throughout the world.
We gratefully acknowledge those whose funding makes our services possible:
– Church World Service (CWS)
– City of Columbus
-Community Computer Alliance
– Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM)
– Franklin County Children’s Services
– Franklin County Department of Job and Family Services
– Franklin County Office on Aging
– Harry C. Moores Foundation
– Office of Refugee Resettlement
– Office of the Ohio Attorney General
– Ohio Department of Health
and the many individuals and organizations of the central Ohio community whose donations of all kinds and sizes help us carry out our mission.
Board of trustees
Leo Almeida, The Nature Conservancy in Ohio
Amy Baker, The Ohio State University, Office of Government Affairs, Board President
Pranab Bhattacharya, J.D., The Ohio State University (retired)
Daniel L. Brilhart, Ph.D., Muskingum University
Robert Cohen, Esq., Porter, Wright, Morris & Arthur, LLP, Board Treasurer
Dan Fleck, Ph.D., Ohio Department of Education, Lau Resource Center, Board Secretary
Mary Howard, DNP, RN, The Ohio State University Medical Center
Mary Mutegi, Program Coordinator, Physicians Care Connection
Mark Nesbit, Esq., Nesbit Law Firm
Kenneth Ramos, Columbus Division of Police, Board Vice President
Joseph Recchie, Esq., Praxia Partners