COLORADO, USA — A temporary housing site has opened up in metro Denver to help Afghan evacuees transition into housing and find other resources.
Colorado has welcomed 1,000 Afghan evacuees to the state, with another 100 to arrive mid-February.
“We’re hoping that by consolidating folks in transitional housing in one location and by offering services to them at one location that ultimately what we’re doing is creating efficiencies and allowing the resettlement agencies to have better capacity at what they do so well – which is long term services, “Kit Taintor, Office of New Americans Director, said.
Those at the housing site can count on resettlement agencies to help find work opportunities, enroll kids in school and connect to healthcare.
“Right now, there are almost 40 individuals,” Taintor said. "Some are with families. So, recognizing evacuees include older adults, they include children, include folks that are working-age – so a myriad of different types of folks living currently in their new homes.”
The site offers help to individuals as well as families and is part of a state partnership with the federal government. Taintor said this makes Colorado the first state to make a temporary housing deal with the federal government, with other states quickly following suit.
“When we invest in people, we get good returns,” Taintor said. “So this additional federal investment just allows us to set these newcomer Coloradans up for success a little bit quicker, and get them on their way to employment and full enjoyment of the Colorado life.”
Guest are expected to stay between two and four weeks on average to ensure that 90% of Afghan families find longer-term housing within 30 days of arriving in the state.
“It is not meant to be permanent,” Taintor said. “We do have a sunset in the future where we will be rolling off this transitional site and helping folks in their communities.”
For safety and security reasons, the state is not disclosing the location of the site.
There’s been an outpour of support, said the state, to assist evacuees settling into the state. Here are a few ways to help out:
Colorado Afghan Evacuee Support Fund, a statewide program fiscally sponsored by the Rose Community Foundation
ECDC/African Community Center, a program in Denver that works side-by-side with refugees and immigrants to help them rebuild their lives
International Rescue Committee, a global humanitarian aid, relief and development nongovernmental organization
Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains (designate donations to ‘Refugees - Afghan and other.) LFSRM is a non-profit human services agency providing adoption, foster care, older adult caregiver and refugee services in the Rocky Mountain region.
WISH LIST FOR RESETTLEMENT AGENCIES
- ECDC/African Community Center: Amazon Wish List
- International Rescue Committee: Donation needs, Amazon Wish List, make a kit instructions.
- IRC cannot accept physical donations at this time, but please share intended donations using this form for further coordination
- Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains: Amazon Wish List (Denver, Colorado Springs)
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