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Network types to help Afghan refugees settle in Detroit


DETROIT (AP) — A gaggle of Detroit company and group leaders has come collectively to supply help providers to refugees from Afghanistan and different nations as they resettle within the metropolis.

Samaritas, a statewide well being and human providers group that operates one in every of Michigan’s largest refugee resettlement applications, introduced the launch of the Detroit Refugee Network on Wednesday.

The community’s formation comes at a key time, as refugee resettlement companies and nonprofits nationwide gear as much as assist Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion. They have already been onerous at work making an attempt to assist tens of 1000’s of asylum-seeking Afghans who fled final yr’s Taliban takeover.

“When world events started to occur, we knew we had to respond — and respond boldly and quickly,” Kelli Dobner, chief development officer for Samaritas and co-chair of the Detroit Refugee Network, mentioned at a information convention in Detroit.

The community will serve the shoppers of three resettlement companies — Samaritas, the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants and Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan. It is working to lift greater than $1 million to supply refugees in Detroit with a full vary of providers, together with housing, training, transportation, authorized help and utility help.

“Everyone wants opportunity. And in Detroit, we are here to help them and those who want to pursue that American dream,” Dr. Sonia Hassan, the community’s co-chair and spouse of Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, mentioned on the occasion, which was held within the courtyard of an residence complicated that homes resettled Afghan refugees.

More than 650 Afghan refugees have come to southeastern Michigan since 2021 through the three resettlement companies, with greater than 250 planning to settle in Detroit.

Said Urahman, an Afghan who labored as a translator with the U.S. authorities, arrived in Detroit final yr alongside along with his spouse, brother and two youngsters. His spouse and he since have added to their household — a 3rd youngster was born three weeks in the past.

The 31-year-old mentioned it was a “very difficult decision” as a result of he had “to leave homeland, friends (and) family behind.”

Now, he works for town authorities’s human assets division and lives within the residence complicated.

“I’m taking it easy, step by step. And I’m already integrated in society,” Urahman mentioned.



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