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Locals hoping to raise funds to welcome refugees to San Diego County

Posted at 10:12 AM, Mar 10, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-10 13:12:54-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – Three families in Rancho Peñasquitos are extending a helping hand to refugees, with the hope to do it through the U.S. State Department's new "Welcome Corps" program.

It's a program for everyday American to welcome refugees by securing housing, getting children enrolled in school and helping find the adults jobs in the community.

While ABC 10News was sharing the Rolling Hills Welcome Corps' story on Thursday evening, a woman at a local park wondered what we were covering. We told her about the group’s efforts and then approached them.

"It was amazing. Just a few minutes ago, she came over. She heard about it and wants to donate some beds, some bookcases. And she gave me her friend's cell phone number, she said she's going to donate some furniture, too. So this is fantastic. We partly furnished an apartment tonight,” said Dr. Jennifer Barkley of the Rolling Hills Welcome Corps.

The families will also provide personal items. Hoping to raise enough funds to for a family of six through a GoFundMe page and other avenues to the financial requirement by the State Department.

"We will support them for the first 90 days in the United States. A majority of the funds go for housing,” Barkley said.

"So, we have to hit 60 percent of $20,000 in order for us to kind of start that next stage with the State Department. So, we are crossing our fingers and we can't wait till we get to that point,” said Megan Gross of Rolling Hills Welcome Corps

The Assistant Secretary of State says since its January launch, it's already exceeding its goals.

"And I am thrilled to report that we have had tens of thousands of Americans signing up to take the training, something like 37,000 individuals have signed up to take the training,” Julieta Valls Noyes, Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration.