JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) — For more than 50 years, St. Vincent Catholic Charities in Lansing has been helping refugees from countries across the world resettle here in Mid-Michigan.

“They come here looking for a safe and welcoming place to live and it is our job to really help welcome them with open arms,” said Communications Director for St. Vincent Catholic Charities, Ali Pirich.

From help with housing to finding a job, it’s a program that’s helped change the lives of people like Wahid Dawar and his family. He was able to come to Michigan from Afghanistan before the Taliban took over. It was a relief to him and his daughter.

“They are talking about the Taliban and explosions and fires. Why are we here now? And I tell them you are in a safe place and she says oh God thank you we are here,” said Dawar.

In the past few months, the organization’s phones have been ringing off the hook. They’ve been working to resettle 170 afghan refugees with another 128 waiting to be booked, and now their services are getting a big boost thanks to the Jackson community grant program.

“This funding will assist 150 Afghan newcomers to find employment services and with this money, we are going to be able to proving an ESL teacher, several language interpreters, and an employment trainer,” said Pirich. 

It’s an early holiday gift the company says they hope makes an immediate impact.

“When we think of these refugees coming to a new place at this time of year what a wonderful gift to help support them and help them find employment,” said Assistant Vice President Corporate Philanthropy, Jackson, Danielle Robinson.

With so many new arrivals, St. Vincent Catholic Charities is looking for donations of new or gently used furniture, or other household items as well as permanent housing opportunities.