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Resettling Afghan Refugees In Kansas City Could Start In October

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A man holds a certificate acknowledging his work for Americans as hundreds of people gather outside the international airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday. Afghans fleeing their country may be heading to Kansas City after being vetted once they arrive at one of the United States military installations where they will be screened and given medical attention.
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 stipendof 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.

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