Organizations prepare to help Afghan refugees settle in Arizona


Afghan refugees are resettling across the United States and hundreds will arrive in Arizona in the coming weeks.

Prior to the arrival of refugees, state organizations are preparing to welcome them.

Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest in Phoenix is ​​one of the places that are preparing to welcome refugees. A specific location could accommodate up to 200 people in the fall.

“When people arrive and feel welcome, they feel safe,” said Connie Phillips, CEO and President of Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest.

In addition to its Phoenix site, the organization is also preparing to welcome Afghan refugees at its Tucson site.

“In order to prepare for the withdrawal that will come from Afghanistan, we had to reach out and make sure that we had the language available, and we are in the process of identifying accommodation to be able to support the families when they arrive,” a said Phillips.

Phillips says it will be a long way for these refugees, but the staff will be there every step of the way.

“Think about getting put in a whole different country, where you can’t speak the language, read the signs. They do things so differently, you don’t know what to do. ‘one who is there to explain things to you, to accompany you and help you do something? ” said Phillips.

Phillips’ organization could help 300 to 400 refugees. In total, a total of 1,600 refugees will be accepted in Arizona.

“That’s the number that we think we have the capacity, given our staff, given the community, given the housing. That’s what we think we have the capacity to do,” said Phillips.

So far, the organization has not yet received anyone. Refugees go through the screening process before they arrive, which could take several weeks.

“No one will come to the community until they have been checked, until they have passed their health exam.

The organization has received a lot of support over the past two weeks, and it is no longer accepting volunteers because it is at full capacity. However, people can still go to their website and add their name and contact information to the list. They could turn to more volunteers in the future.

South West Lutheran Social Services

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