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Resettling Afghan Refugees In Kansas City Could Start In October

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Hundreds of people gather outside the international airport in Kabul, Afghanistan. Afghans fleeing their country may be heading to Kansas City.

Agencies are still coordinating with community partners but will be ready to accept hundreds of the expected 50,000 refugees coming to the United States.

Two resettlement agencies in Kansas City, Della Lamb and Jewish Vocational Services, are working to rebuild their infrastructure, getting referral mechanisms in place and making sure they have enough material resources.

"The past four years have been a challenging time for agencies that have been connected to federal immigration policies," says Hilary Singer of JVS, who notes that the number of immigrants allowed into the United States was low.

Now an expected increase in immigration, on top of the number of refugees coming from Afghanistan, has resettlement agencies gearing back up.

The federal government provides a stipend of just over $1,000 per person. Other than that, the agencies rely heavily on community sponsorships, says Danilo Aguilar of Della Lamb.

"Groups can come and basically wrap around families or individuals and say, 'We're going to walk with you long term,'" Aguilar says.

Singer and Aguilar describe the process refugees will undergo from the time they reach the U.S., through getting resettled and in the long term.

When I host Up To Date each morning at 9 a.m., my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. My email is steve@kcur.org.
Chris Young is an Assistant Producer for KCUR’s Up To Date. Contact him at chrisy@kcur.org.
As senior producer of Up To Date, I want our listeners to hear familiar and new voices that shine light on the issues and challenges facing the myriad communities KCUR serves, and to expose our audiences to the wonderful and the creative in the Kansas City area. Just as important to me is an obligation to mentor the next generation of producers to ensure that the important conversations continue. Reach me at alexanderdk@kcur.org.