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Afghan refugee resettlement continues in Charlottesville

Published: Nov. 19, 2021 at 10:26 AM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The last group of Afghan refugees that arrived in the commonwealth have now been resettled. The International Rescue Committee in Charlottesville say, though, getting them resettled is just a starting point.

Harriet Kuhr with the IRC says roughly 207 refugees have come to Charlottesville since October 1. The IRC did have a goal of accepting about 250 refugees.

“We were expecting that many people, but we thought they might be spread out over a couple of months. It’s been really challenging to have so many people come here at once,” Kuhr said. “But we have them all, temporarily, but safely housed - mostly in hotels - in Charlottesville and surrounding communities.”

Kuhr says the influx is causing a delay in processing documents for those being resettled.

“Usually, for a regular refugee, that would be handled before they got here and everything would be ready, so we’re catching up on that,” Kuhr said.

Now, the IRC is calling on community members and organizations to help refugees find permanent housing and help families get basic necessities like groceries and clothing.

“The thing we are asking for right now especially is gift cards to grocery stores, Walmart, things like that,” Kuhr said. “That even when the families are still temporarily in hotels, that they need to get clothes for their kids. We don’t want to take the responsibility of giving them clothing. It’s best for them to go and pick out what’s right for them.”

Kuhr says the IRC is looking for sponsors for refugee families both here in Charlottesville and across central Virginia.

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