YMCA International Services

We are committed to be a source of strength and encouragement to all we serve.


6th Annual Triumph of the Human Spirit

A virtual art show and auction benefitting YMCA International Services.

Houston’s premier refugee and immigrant art showcase celebrates the works of artists from around the globe who call our city home. It will be held on Friday, November 12th from 6-9 pm at St. John’s School (2401 Claremont Ln, Houston, TX 77019).

All proceeds from the sale of the artwork are shared equally between the artists and YMCA clients.

Tickets can be purchased here.

Adopt A Family

YMCA International Service’s annual Adopt a Family program is looking for sponsors to spread some holiday cheer! YMCA International Services works with several immigrant populations including refugees, asylum seekers, victims of human trafficking and unaccompanied minors. The program pairs a family with a sponsor who they “adopt” for the holidays. When sponsors are paired, they are given a wish list from the family they are adopting.

If you would like to become a sponsor to one of these families and send them a warm greeting for the holidays, please fill out this form. If you prefer to donate a gift card for a family so they can do their holiday shopping, please email Miranda Hurtado-Ramos at .

For any specific questions about the program, please contact Miranda Hurtado-Ramos at .

About Us

6300 Westpark Dr #600, Houston, TX 77057

Mon – Fri: 8:30 am – 5 pm
Sat – Sun: Closed

The YMCA was created by young people trying to navigate their way in a new city, far from family, friends, and a familiar way of life. Welcoming and engaging newcomers has remained an important part of the YMCA movement, with Y’s around the world providing individuals and families the integration support they need to better transition into their new communities.

YMCA International Services is a unique center of the YMCA of Greater Houston that delivers client-centered programs to refugees, immigrants and other vulnerable populations to advance their economic independence, social integration and civic participation. The Y helps newcomers restore hope, build stability, create opportunity and change futures. YMCA International Services is continuously recognized as a leader in the Houston immigrant community.

Satellite Office Info:
Satellite Office – Immigration Legal Services
6671 Southwest Freeway, Suite 250
Houston, TX 77074


  • Career Advancement

  • Education

  • Immigration Legal Services

  • Post Release Services

  • Refugee Employment

  • Refugee Resettlement

  • Social Adjustment Services

  • Trafficked Persons Assistance

Who We Serve

A refugee is a person who is unwilling to return to their country of nationality due to persecution or a fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinions, or membership in a group.

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Volunteers play an integral part in the successful resettlement of refugees and immigrants. As friends, facilitators, and advocates, they help newly arrived refugees navigate their way around a new society.

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Our Programs

Through the Refugee Scholarship Program, YMCA International Services has been able to provide funding for full-time higher education students who have a status as refugee, Special Immigrant Visa holder, asylee, or Victim of Trafficking.

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Upcoming Events

If you’re looking to engage with your new community, join us for one of our events. Check out our International Services calendar for details on upcoming classes and community events.

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Learn More

  • Contact us at 713-758-9280 for more questions or to schedule an appointment.
  • For general information about immigration, please go to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services website.
  • If you have a pending case with USCIS and a receipt notice, you can check your case status here.
  • If you have an Immigration Court date pending, you can call to check your status at (800)-898-7180.
  • If a member of your family has been detained, you can locate them here.
  • If you have moved and need to change your official address with the government, please go here.
  • For general legal resources, including immigration resources, visit www.texaslawhelp.org.

Other Resources

Community Resources

  • YMCA International Services Food Pantry: Fridays from 10:00am-12:00pm
  • Do you live in Texas and can’t afford your rent? We are here to help. Stop TX Eviction Portal

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Community Impact (Client Success Story)

Khuda arrived in the US with his wife, Bibi, and their children in July of 2020. Khuda had worked for the American Special Forces for almost 8 years in Afghanistan, his home country. His job was to assist the US to defuse landmines. Not only was this a dangerous line of work, but also allying with US forces put Khuda and his family in even more danger. Khuda was shot 3 times and also survived a landmine explosion. He was able to recover from these injuries, but Khuda still felt that he and his family were no longer safe in Afghanistan. Because of his work with the American Special Forces, he and his family were eventually able to come to the US with Special Immigrant Visas (SIV.) With YMCA’s assistance, Khuda quickly found a job working for a security company. His wife, while also caring for the children at home, is attending online ESL classes to improve her English.

Despite his hardship in Afghanistan and despite arriving in the US in the middle of a pandemic, Khuda is upbeat and optimistic about his family’s future. He is excited about advancing his career and enjoying life with his family here in Houston.

Our Impact in Numbers

  • Despite all of the challenges presented by the unexpected COVID-19 pandemic, your YMCA International Service Team remained dedicated to being a beacon of hope, providing resources for assistance, and providing reliable legal services.
  • In 2020, YMCA International Services provided:
  • 1,461 individuals with Education services, civics courses, cultural orientations, ESL classes, etc.
  • 8,465 community members received employment assistance, medical assistance and social services
  • 66,676 individuals and families received 1,187,100 pounds of food
  • 4,808 individuals in detention and community members were provided with orientation or counseling services
  • 406 refugees were welcome and resettled in the Houston Area
  • YMCA International Service volunteers donated 1,071 hours in 2020 to these efforts. Without them, our impact on the Houston metropolitan area would not be possible.

Contact Us

Jeff Watkins
Executive Vice President for Inclusive Communities


Lisa Guitguit
Center Executive Director

713-339-9015 ext. 3641

Claire Poff
Senior Program Director (Education, Employment, and Refugee Youth Mentoring programs)

713-339-9015 ext. 3611

Dario Lipovac
Senior Program Director (Reception & Placement, Match Grant, Refugee Cash Assistance, Social Adjustment Services, and Preferred Communities)

713-339-9015 ext. 3614

Dayana Gomez-Mendoza
Senior Program Director (Post Release Services and Trafficked Persons Assistance Program)

713-339-9015 ext. 3616

Nicole J. Sam
Senior Program Director (Immigration Legal Services)


Lindsey Torres
Senior Director of Business Operations

713-339-9015 ext. 3640