We’re proud to be a Certified Welcoming city!


The City of Lancaster, in partnership with many community benefit organizations and businesses, is proud to be a designated Certified Welcoming City by Welcoming America. The City of Lancaster is now part of a leading network of Certified Welcoming Cities across the nation.


Lancaster City boasts a 300-year long history of welcoming, and is recognized as “America’s refugee capital” for resettling 20 times more refugees per capita than the rest of the nation.


“We are so proud to certify what we, and world, knows about Lancaster-that we’re America’s refugee capital. We know that refugees and immigrants make our community and our economy stronger. We know that we are better together, and we are proud to embody what I think is truly American value of welcoming the stranger.”


Danene Sorace
Mayor, City of Lancaster


The City of Lancaster completed an intensive evaluation to become a Certified Welcoming City. The Certified Welcoming Program is an initiative of Welcoming America, a nonprofit leading a national movement of inclusive communities where everyone belongs and succeeds, including refugees and immigrants. Lancaster’s local policies and programs were compared to the comprehensive Welcoming Standard, which is an extensive roadmap for building welcoming communities guided by the following seven framework categories that define a truly welcoming place: Government Leadership, Equitable Access, Civic Engagement, Connected Communities, Education, Economic Development, and Safe Communities.

“Welcoming America is pleased to recognize Lancaster, Pennsylvania as the first city in Pennsylvania to be designated as Certified Welcoming, affirming its commitment to creating an inclusive environment where all residents can thrive and belong.”


Rachel Peric
Executive Director, Welcoming America


Certified Welcoming is an initiative of Welcoming America