Community impact: how IRCO creates culturally diverse communities in Portland

May 31, 2018 / Idaho

Ashenafi arrived in Portland 3 years ago, leaving behind his life in Ethiopia for a new start in the United States. Like many immigrants, he’s faced tough challenges adjusting to a new culture, navigating the employment system, and integrating into the community. Luckily for Ashenafi, the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO) is there to help him adjust and settle into his new life

Founded more than 40 years ago by refugees from Southeast Asia, IRCO is now a thriving nonprofit that supports and empowers newcomers striving for success by providing culturally specific services, including employment training, community development, and access to legal services.

Even with access to these services, low-income immigrants and refugees face looming mobility challenges due to the high cost of transportation and inadequate public transportation access.

To help address this challenge, the Uber NW Community Impact Initiative is providing IRCO with ride credits to help individuals like Ashenafi get to meetings with Career Coaches and access training that will give him the necessary skills to succeed in his new life.

Immigrants and refugees are one of the fastest growing communities of color in Portland’s metropolitan region, and access to transportation is an essential step in their path to achieving self-sufficiency. Uber’s donated rides will help to ease the transportation barrier, making it easier for IRCO’s Career Point clients to participate in our program and access needed services.

– Lee Po Cha, IRCO Executive Director

We’re proud to stand with and support organizations like IRCO as they empower children, youth, and families from around the world in building new lives.

In 2018, the Uber NW Community Impact Initiative has donated over $600,000 in financial assistance and rides to 45+ nonprofits across the region. For more information, visit