The Afghan resettlement of Kansas City
When Kansas City announced it would welcome 550 Afghan evacuees, most people expected that to mean finding decent places for them to live and getting them back on their feet – but for many that did not happen.
The evacuees have been turned back by the owners and are living in overcrowded and temporary conditions due to the inability to prepare properly and delays at the federal level. Some live in houses without heating. Others have been placed in hotels for emergency accommodation.
The Kansas City Metro is home to three refugee resettlement agencies tasked with helping accommodate those fleeing war, persecution or danger in other countries.
Although Catholic Charities, Della Lamb, and Jewish Professional Services provide most of the basic needs of individuals and families relocating to Kansas City, including the latest wave of Afghan evacuees, they are not the only resources. available to our new neighbors.
Learn more about some of the organizations and programs designed to ease the transition:
The Kansas City Public Library’s Refugee and Immigrant Services and Empowerment Program helps people who are not fluent in English overcome language barriers. The program includes a course called “English for Citizenship” and the “Conversation Club”, a space for practicing English. There are also English programs for more advanced learners, as well as an English-focused program used in professional trades, such as carpentry.
Global FC, a non-profit organization operating alongside resettlement agencies, offers English classes and tutoring to children whose education has been interrupted. They also have soccer and mentoring programs for children to meet other members of the community and participate in healthy activities. Children do not need to be enrolled in school to participate. The program has shuttles to transport them to and from the program.
Money Smart Kansas City, a local organization that promotes “financial capability and economic mobility,” offers multilingual finance courses for adults.
New Roots for Refugees, a nonprofit organization that teaches refugees how to start their own small farms in the Midwest, was established by Catholic Charities and Cultivate KC in 2008. This year, 16 farmers are participating in the program.