Serving Immigrants and Refugees since 1921

Nationalities Service Center (NSC) is a non-profit organization that provides social, educational and legal services to immigrants and refugees in the Greater Philadelphia area. Our strength lies in the diversity of our clients and services. Since NSC’s founding in 1921, our mission has been to help immigrants and refugees participate fully in American society.

Our Stories

NSC’s Growing Together Garden featured in National Geographic article on cities visited by Pope Francis!

screen-shot-2015-09-25-at-95411-amOur “Growing Together” Garden was recently featured in National Geographic’s article, “The City Turns Brown In Green, Just as the Pope Wishes” ( The article highlights how “Philadelphia immigrants are transforming blighted lots into gardens, bringing nature back to the city, putting down roots, and providing food.” We are so proud of our clients and staff who have worked tirelessly to ensure the gardens continue to thrive. Thank you for “turning brown into green.”


NSC Attorney Discusses US Response to Syrian Refugees

On Wednesday, September 23rd, Jonah Eaton, an NSC staff attorney, discussed the U.S. and E.U.’s response to the refugee crisis in Syria on WHYY’s Radio Times. Download the radio show as a podcast!


Have you Seen our New Garden?

NSC’s newest garden, Growing Together Gardens, is enjoying wonderful crops during its first year of growing seasons. If you haven’t been able to make it to South Philly to visit the garden, check out the garden blog here for summer updates from Christian, the Project Coordinator.


Wondering How You Can Help Syrian Refugees?

Since the Syrian Civil War began four years ago, a total of 4 million people have crossed Syrian borders to seek refuge in Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and Turkey, and another six million internally displaced persons are still living in Syria. But after many years of living in often squalid refugee camps whose host countries are simply overwhelmed by the demand, the mass diaspora of migrants has been building over the past year and has now reached a critical mass. These families and individuals are joined by migrants from Iraq, Eritrea, Afghanistan, Libya and others — all countries that are in the grips of civil, ethnic or religious conflict.

NSC wishes to thank everyone who has reached out to us to express your support of Syrian refugees and all who are seeking safety. Although we are far from the conflict, small numbers of Syrians have made their way to Philadelphia. We encourage you to read the article “Challenges for Syrian Asylum Seekers in Philadelphia” (, which provides a brief overview of asylum law, and then turns to the specific challenges facing Syrian applicants.

We also encourage you to urge the United States to accept more Syrian refugees. Join us in signing this petition (, which asks President Obama to increase Syrian refugee arrivals in the coming months!


NSC is Renovating – but We Need Your Help

Nationalities Service Center is excited to share that our headquarters at 1216 Arch Street will be getting a “facelift”! Each year, NSC serves more than 5,000 immigrants and refugees, and we have been challenged to expand our space for services to match our immense growth in clients over the past few years. We want our clients to be welcomed into a headquarters that allows them to receive services and establish a new life in Philadelphia with dignity and safety. Our renovation project includes new and renovated classroom training space, a renovated welcome area, additional legal services space to ensure client confidentiality, and an overhaul of our public restrooms. We are already halfway to our funding goal, but we need to finish funding this project soon - we’re breaking ground this summer!

Wondering how you can help?

Visit our project page on Global Giving ( to donate now and help us make our goal! From that page, you can also share our project with your networks on Facebook and Twitter. If you don’t have time to visit our page, you can text GIVE 20155 to 80088 to donate $10 to the project now.

Want your donation to go a little further? Be sure to give on the July 15 Bonus Day! Global Giving will match donations made through at 30% (up to $1,000 per donor). There is $115,000 available in matching funds, as well as a $1,000 bonus award for the project with most individual donors and a $1,000 bonus award for the most money raised. Matching begins at 9:00:01 EDT and lasts until funds run out or 23:59:59 EDT.

We appreciate your support and look forward to seeing you in our renovated space!