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'What was once a trickle is now a flood': Supervisors to create Afghan resettlement task force

Afghan resettlement task force
Posted at 8:02 PM, Oct 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-07 00:42:56-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego County is expected to receive the second-highest number of Afghan refugees in California.

The help with the anticipated influx, the Board of Supervisors approved the creation of a resettlement task force,

"What was once a trickle is now a flood," Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer said.

Supervisor Lawson-Remer proposed the Afghan Resettlement Task Force.

She said it'll be a focal point for resettling Afghan refugees bringing together school districts, nonprofits, and local governments.

"If you’re an Afghan refugee and you’re just arriving in this country for the first time and you don’t have a central clearinghouse and you don’t have a central point of coordination, it just makes it incredibly difficult to figure out how to make a fresh start," Lawson-Remer said.

Wednesday, Helping El Cajon Refugees spent the afternoon preparing an apartment for an Afghan refugee family of three.

Jill Galante, the co-lead of the grassroots group, said it's become an everyday thing.

"We know that we are going to get between 1,300 refugees between October and December alone," Galante said.

58,000 Afghan refugees are expected to arrive in the U.S. with major resettlements expected to begin next week.

The Catholic Charities Diocese of San Deigo is one of four resettlement agencies in the county.

Nadine Toppozada, the Director of Refugee and Immigrant Services, said the organization has helped over 350 Afghan refugees since August.

"We enroll them in ELS classes for the adults, we help the kids enroll in school," she said.

Toppozadda said the task force will only enhance their organization's ongoing efforts.

That includes helping with the biggest issue agencies face, which is long-term housing for incoming refugee families.

"Our role as resettlement agencies is working with families for 90 days," Toppozada said. "As you can imagine this is a very, very short period of time so the ability to rely on a task force to provide further support is crucial."