Since 1980, Lao Family Community Development has led the way in delivering culturally informed specialized education, jobs, and family support programs to 400,000+ Californians, in particular to refugee, immigrant, and US-born low-income groups in a “one-stop-shop” center.



1978 to 1980
Lao Family functioned as a self-help group staffed and led by volunteer Laotian refugees and board members, and supported with individual donations.

1980s to 1990s
Founded in the living room of Chaosarn S. Chao, Lao Family’s founding Executive Director, the organization later relocated to a church annex in Richmond, California. Lao Family served a melting pot of 90,000+ clients from various countries in Southeast and East Asia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Iran and the former Soviet Union. The initial objective was to help fellow refugees rebuild their lives in the Bay Area after escaping the political and social upheaval that ravaged their home countries. Critical needs support included family sponsorship, resettlement, airport pickup, apartment set-ups, acculturation, information and referral, case management, victim counseling, interpretation, school enrollment, social security card and identification card assistance, public health insurance access, housing, transportation navigation, basic adult education, El Civics citizenship and job assistance.

1978 to 1980
After reincorporating in 1990 and becoming a Community Development Corporation in the mid-1990s, Lao Family grew rapidly broadening into economic initiatives like affordable housing development, neighborhood building economic projects, first-time homeownership and foreclosure intervention counseling, financing economic success and asset development initiatives, affordable health care enrollment, career pathways, CTE programs and higher education for youth and adult refugees, other Limited English Populations, the re-entry, homeless and TANF/CalWORKs populations, capacity building of emerging refugee and immigrant organizations. During this nearly 20-year period, Lao Family’s programs impacted 225,000+ low-income minority Californians.

Lao Family completed the December 2018 opening of its new 30,000 sq. ft. mixed-use collaboratively-developed CARE Community Center and HQ complex.

Lao Family has indeed reached a major milestone! Learn more by connecting with us at our Headquarters Office in Oakland, CA at (510) 533-8850.

Visit Lao Family at one of our 9 locations in Alameda, Contra Costa and Sacramento Counties. Access one of Lao Family’s 12 major programs and connect with one of their 100 staff members who will welcome you in one of their 35 languages spoken.