Resettling Afghan Refugees: An Updated Message From Our CEO (9/29/2021)
To the LCS Northwest community,
With an extraordinary wave of refugees from Afghanistan to the United States now underway, LCS Northwest is ramping up services, programs and staffing to meet this historic moment. Thank you for your outpouring of interest in partnering with us to create a circle of welcome, and we appreciate your patience!
In the past year, we’ve resettled more than 80 Afghan allies with Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) in the Puget Sound and Portland regions — more than 50 in the past three months alone. In the wake of the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, we are planning to assist hundreds more who were desperate to flee their Taliban-controlled country, including many whose immigration status is less secure.
Due to the number of Afghans being vetted and processed, however, the intake is taking longer than we expected. We know that more than 50,000 people are going through this process on American military bases. Once it is completed, refugees will begin arriving in our service areas. We anticipate some arrivals in early October.
Our staff is using this time to line up safe and affordable housing options, employment opportunities, medical care, translators, transportation and more. We are hiring more team members to come alongside these individuals and families upon their arrival.
Meantime, we hosted a Sept. 23 web forum that featured experts sharing the latest information about refugee resettlement and how we are getting ready. Here’s a link to the recording; we hope it addresses at least some of your questions.
We are so thankful for your passion and willingness to serve our new neighbors! We will continue to update you as the process moves forward. Again, thank you for supporting our work at LCS Northwest as we celebrate 100 years of health, justice and hope.