The Cambodian Family is a multi-ethnic human services agency that is committed to helping refugees and immigrants become productive members of American society.
The mission of The Cambodian Family is to promote social health by providing refugee and immigrant families the opportunities to develop the knowledge, skills, and desires for creating health and well-being in their lives.
Our vision is to see refugee and immigrant families that are healthy, happy, self-reliant, and contributing members of society. The families we serve have good physical and mental health, satisfying jobs with good wages, kids who thrive in school, a sense of belonging to the larger community, and a comfortable community center of their own in which they take pride and feel strong support.
In the early 1980s, a large wave of Cambodian refugees who had escaped the “killing fields” of the Communist Khmer Rouge regime began coming to the United States. Many came to Orange County and settled in the Minnie Street neighborhood of Santa Ana, California, where crowded apartment complexes offered some of the lowest rents in the County.
In 1982, the five Cambodian refugees who made up The Cambodian Family’s Board of Directors, along with a few other dedicated members, pooled resources, rented a small apartment, and began helping other Cambodians who lived in the neighborhood. Those Cambodians who could speak some English provided free English classes, adjustment counseling, and emergency translation to their monolingual neighbors.
In 1983, we received our first funding, a $64,000 grant from the Federal Office of Refugee Resettlement, to provide Employment Services, and this program has continued to expand in scope and funding since that time. As time passed, other programs were added in response to community needs, including ESL, vocational training, an after school Youth Program, an early childhood development program for school readiness, health accessing and trauma resolution.
Over the years, we have broadened our clientele from Cambodians only, to also include immigrants and refugees from all over the world, including Vietnam, Laos, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Russia, Ukraine, Bosnia, Ethiopia, and Somalia.