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Local organizations helping Afghan refugees resettle

Local organizations helping Afghan refugees relocate
Posted at 7:56 PM, Aug 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-27 22:56:05-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — As the U.S. withdrawal deadline in Afghanistan approaches, thousands of refugees continue to arrive in our country.

Local organizations are ramping up efforts to help families resettling in San Diego County.

Etleva Bejko is the Director of Refugee Resettlement for the Jewish Family Service of San Diego.

"We can only imagine that there will be more and more people coming out hopefully safely and reach our communities and we need to respond and make sure they are settled in our communities successfully,” Bejko said.

Since August 6th, the organization has helped 74 Afghan refugees relocate to the area.

“Response has been to ensure that we pick them up at the airport, make sure that they have a place to stay," she said.

Bejko said families have been arriving almost every night, with only a 24-hour notice to the organization to prepare.

While some refugees have friends or families to stay with the goal is to find long-term housing for them.

“Housing sets up everything else," she said. "They are children that need to be enrolled in school, proper documents in order so they can find a job and become self-sufficient."

Along with housing, communities are also gathering essential items like clothing and toiletries.

Joni Deiters said donations have been pouring in from her neighborhood in Scripps Ranch to go to Catholic Charities, which is another local organization helping Afghan refugees.

"People just started dropping stuff off. One woman came and she had to bring three kids with her to unload 10 bags out of her truck,” Deiters said.

Bejko said as refugees to continue to arrive it's important to make sure they feel safe and welcomed.

“We do see a lot of anxiety and a lot of concern, but also a lot of relief that at least their children are safe and they are here after some of them thinking that they may not be able to make it out of there," she said.

If you would like to help, visit the Jewish Family of San Deigo website.