Mid-Missouri agency preparing for possible influx of refugees from Afghanistan
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Following reports of unrest and emergency situation in Afghanistan, one mid-Missouri agency is preparing to help. Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri helps refugees resettle in mid-Missouri. Director of Refugee Services Samantha Moog says they’ve been working behind the scenes for weeks, preparing for a possible influx of refugees.
“We have been reaching out to Afghan families that we have resettled over the past decade, for example, to see if they have any ties with any of the people who are being evacuated.”
Moog says there is not a lot of Afghan refugees living in the area, and most people choose to resettle in areas where they have family or other ties. Moog says many may wind up on the West Coast, where there are larger Afghan populations. But she is constantly monitoring resettlement requests, seven days a week.
Moog says the agency has been asked to deploy staff to Virginia to help with efforts in the area. While they have not yet been able to do so, Moog says that may happen in the future.
Meanwhile, leaders of two of Missouri’s largest cities are saying they will welcome refugees from Afghanistan. St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones and St. Louis County Executive Sam Page released a joint statement saying they are “ready, willing, and prepared” to welcome at least 1,000 Afghanistan citizens. Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas wrote on Twitter that his city would “proudly accept refugees from Afghanistan who have served bravely by our side over the past generation.”