Lansing refugee services prepare to resettle 300 Afghans

Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The federal government is reaching out to governors across the country as they work to resettle the first round of Afghan refugees here in the U.S.

More than a thousand are expected to come here to Michigan, with about 300 of them headed to the capital city.

Local organizations are working round the clock to prepare for the refugees. As they come here to make mid-Michigan their home, refugees will be completely starting over and need to rebuild their lives from scratch.

“We know that people have been struggling and people have had to pick up and leave, like overnight. And that is traumatic and the support they’ll need will be great,” said Erika Brown-Binion, Refugee Development Center.

Brown-Binion says her group is ready to connect people to local resources as hundreds of Afghan refugees are headed to mid-Michigan.

“We’re also raising funds right now for our crisis intervention and our Afghan welcome fund so it can provide for those necessities that people don’t have right away,” continued Brown-Binion. 

Other local resettlement groups like St. Vincent catholic charities are also ready. They have been tracking the process since these refugees fled their home country.

“Some of these folks have already had their security clearance completed so those are the folks that are on the military bases right now around the country. They are doing all kinds of processing, medical screening done, they are working with USCIS,” said Judi Harris of St. Vincent Catholic Charities.

While Judi Harris says St. Vincent’s is ready, she says there is still more work to be done.

“The main thing is we’re trying to find housing for everyone coming in. That’s the biggest thing, concern is that there is a place for everyone to live in once they get here,” remarked Harris.

There’s no doubt that helping hundreds of people build a home here is a challenge but those involved say it’s worth every effort.

 “It feels great that we are at a place where we are saving the lives of these people,” declared Harris.

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