Afghan Resettlement in Champaign County
The Refugee Center’s staff and Board of Directors continue to support Afghan nationals seeking refuge in the United States. We are currently helping to resettle immigrants who have been granted Special Immigrant Visas (SIV) or parole through the Afghan Parolee Assistance program.
As a remote resettlement agency through the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), we have resettled 12 families from Afghanistan, Honduras, Iraq and Lebanon since 2017, prior to the evacuation efforts in Afghanistan in August 2021. Many of the services that we provided included securing safe housing; providing culturally appropriate food and household necessities; assisting with applications for social security numbers, public benefits, employment and school registration; and other services.
These are the same efforts that The Refugee Center currently undertakes as we resettle Afghan evacuees. Our organization has so far assured 11 individuals and two families through the Afghan Placement Program. As of November 29th, 21 Afghan clients have arrived and are becoming oriented with the help of the Afghan community already present in our area. We are aware that some individuals have families remaining in Afghanistan that they hope will be able to eventually join them here in the United States. Our efforts to orient the new arrivals in East Central Illinois will be accompanied by long-term goals of family reunification. Additionally, some of the individuals have expressed a desire to move closer to friends or family in other states, and short-term solutions for these new arrivals have been possible thanks to the assistance of our generous supporters.
The situation is fluid, and we expect more families and individuals to join our community in the coming months. We will continue to work with local partners and organizations to help ensure a smooth transition for all who wish to remain in East Central Illinois or leave to join their families in other areas. The Refugee Center is grateful for the support of our community that has appeared in the form of monetary, housing, volunteer, and in-kind donations.
If you wish to donate to The Refugee Center in support of our efforts to support the Afghan community, please click here. Your donation may also be mailed to our offices at 201 W. Kenyon Rd. Suite 4D, Champaign, IL 61820. We will also continue to update our community with items that we will accept on behalf of the new Afghan arrivals on our website. Stay tuned, and thank you for all of your support.