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Local nonprofits get ready to welcome Afghan refugees

"We are right now gathering as many interpreters as we can. (Preparing) To teach them English, securing them jobs and finding housing for them and so on,"

YORK, Pa. — The International Service Center in Harrisburg is getting ready.

A spokesperson for the group says that over the last week local people from Afghanistan have stopped by their office pleading for help.

"We have been busy everyday trying to reassure people coming to our doors. they’re asking us to help them to bring their relatives here," said Truong Phuong, the executive director for the International Service Center.

The non-profit is ready to provide resources to make the transition easier for the Afghan families coming to central Pennsylvania.

"We are right now gathering as many interpreters as we can. (Preparing) To teach them English, securing them jobs and finding housing for them and so on," said Phuong.

Catholic charities of Harrisburg is also ready to help resettle Afghan refugees.

In a statement a spokesperson wrote:

"The mission of Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Harrisburg is to serve the poor, protect the vulnerable and welcome the newcomer. As we have done for decades, our Immigration Resettlement and Placement Program assists our brothers and sisters that have been vetted and cleared by the United States State Department in beginning new lives here. Annually, we resettle between 100 to 300 refugees. We expect to continue this important, charitable work by helping those fleeing Afghanistan as refugees under a Special Immigrant Visa.

“There are many ways the community can support us in welcoming and assisting our Afghan brothers and sisters, including donations of new household items and temporary housing, and volunteers to support these refugees as they integrate into our society. Financial donations to provide basic material items (clothing, toiletries, etc.) are also appreciated. Details on how to make a donation are available by contacting Charity Stowell at cstowell@cchbg.org or (717) 704-6350.”

Governor Wolf is supportive of refugees coming to our area.

The governor wrote in a statement:

“Pennsylvania was founded on the ideals of peace, tolerance, and safety for all people. It is incumbent on us to model the ideals on which Pennsylvania was founded and be a welcoming home for any who seek safe refuge in the United States. Therefore, Pennsylvania stands ready to continue serving as a resource and a safe, welcoming home for those who seek refuge in the United States,” Gov. Wolf said. “We are pleased to join in the Biden Administration’s efforts to safely relocate and resettle individuals and families fleeing humanitarian crises.”

“I am incredibly grateful to our refugee resettlement organizations whose ongoing vital work ensure that individuals and families are not only welcome but have access to important resources to help them thrive,” Gov. Wolf said. “As we continue to collaborate with the federal government, my administration offers support to organizations and communities, and asks community leaders for flexibility and understanding.”

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