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What is the Houston Afghan Resettlement Fund?

Houston refugee resettlement organizations – The Alliance, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston, and YMCA of Greater Houston – are coordinating fundraising efforts to build a system of care for the good of all Afghans coming to Houston.  This multi-agency collaboration gives funders and philanthropists the opportunity to welcome the stranger and provide for the critical needs of Houston’s new neighbors during their resettlement.

Why is this needed?

In the fall, the Houston area was advised they would receive more than 3,000 Afghan evacuees during the next several months.  That initial number quickly increased to more than 5,000.  They arrived under “humanitarian parole,” which is an emergency designation granted when there is an urgent humanitarian reason or significant public benefit to allow evacuees to temporarily enter the United States.  Traditionally, all refugees resettled in our community require help from nonprofit agencies or other private sources in order to become self-sufficient.

Those fleeing Afghanistan are people who sacrificed their lives to support our U.S. military operations in Afghanistan. It is our responsibility now to protect them for their service to our country.

How long will it take before an Afghan family becomes self-sufficient?

Typically, it takes up to six months before a family can go through the steps to self-sufficiency.  Adults must receive work authorization from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, then overcome any obstacles related to language, transportation and training to get employment.

With many Afghans already proficient in English, our Afghan allies resettling in Houston are quickly finding employment and become self-sufficient.  Afghan refugees who have resettled in Houston over the years have been incredibly successful here, becoming community leaders, working in critical industries, and becoming small business owners. With continued support from the community, we’re confident that the families arriving now will have the same levels of success.

What is the health status of the Afghan evacuees entering our community as part of this effort?

Afghan evacuees went through comprehensive medical screenings and receive COVID-19 tests upon arrival to U.S. military bases.  They were provided vaccinations, including COVID-19 vaccines, as part of the processing in U.S. military bases before being approved for resettlement

How will the money for the fund be distributed?

Your gifts to the Houston Afghan Resettlement Fund will be distributed to four social service agencies that are providing support to Afghan evacuees:  The Alliance, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston, and the YMCA of Greater Houston International Services.

Catholic Charities serves as the fiscal agent for the fund.  Tax ID 74-1109733.  Questions about the fund may be directed here.

NEWS RELEASES AND RESOURCES

Houston Afghan Resettlement Fund Announcement | December 7, 2021  PDF
Houston Afghan Resettlement Fund Announcement | September 24, 2021  PDF
Presentation on the Process and the Need | September 2021  PDF

IN THE NEWS (Just a few examples of the generous support we received from the media!)

JHV (Jewish Herald Voice)  |  December 16, 2021  |  Houston mayor, Afghan agencies working with new refugees
KHOU  | September 27, 2021 | Houston agencies hoping to raise $8.5 million to resettle Afghan evacuees
Houston Public Media | September 27, 2021 | Houston Resettlement Agencies Raising $8.5 Million To Help Resettle Afghan Evacuees
Style Magazine | September 27, 2021 | Four Houston Refugee Resettlement Agencies Form Collaborative to Raise $8.5 Million for Houston Afghan Resettlement Efforts