A group of seven Gettysburg churches is urgently seeking housing for one or two refugee families from Afghanistan. The immediate need is for temporary or permanent rental housing because housing must be ready before the families arrive in Gettysburg. The group is looking for one or two housing units, each with two to three bedrooms. Funding will be available to pay for the housing. There will be very short notice before families arrive in Gettysburg. Emergency housing may be needed temporarily, and all units must be safe and habitable.
The Refugee Resettlement Committee of Gettysburg partnership is made up of ministers, church members, and interested individuals from:
· Christ Lutheran Church
· Gettysburg Meeting of Friends
· Gettysburg Presbyterian Church
· Prince of Peace Episcopal Church
· St. James Lutheran Church
· Trinity United Church of Christ
· Unitarian Universalists of Gettysburg
The group is partnering with a resettlement agency to identify two or more families for placement here following their evacuation from Afghanistan earlier this year, as part of a large U.S. government multi-agency effort, Operation Allies Welcome. Like other volunteer groups across the country, the Gettysburg group will provide sponsorship, assistance, and friendship to the families.
These families are part of a group of more than 70,000 refugees temporarily residing on U.S. military bases here in the United States. The Department of Homeland Security and Department of State have completed medical and security clearances for all of the refugees currently waiting for permanent placement. They are all legally admitted to the United States, either as legal permanent residents or humanitarian parolees. Many are previous employees of either the U.S. Embassy or U.S. military forces in Afghanistan, or contractor groups working with both organizations. As such, some of the family members may possess English language ability already, but those details are not now known.
There are a number of U.S. government benefits available to assist these refugees in gaining self-sufficiency and integration into life in America. The seven congregations involved in the partnership have already begun raising funds to subsidize housing and other immediate needs for the new arrivals. The group will also provide help as needed, such as transportation, English language instruction, school placement, and job counseling.
If you have temporary or permanent housing that could be immediately available, or within a short period of time, please contact Housing Committee at RefugeeGettysburg@gmail.com.