The Lansing region has seen an influx of Afghan refugees over the past two weeks and may continue. The agency responsible for resettling 300 Afghan evacuees is a close partner of Capital Area Michigan Works !, St. Vincent Catholic Charities, which is the refugee settlement agency in the Lansing area.

All refugees go through STVCC for their initial resettlement services: accommodation, food, documentation, benefit registrations, school registrations, orientation, medical screening support, etc. The STVCC originally predicted 400 refugees in total this year, but is supporting efforts to resettle 300 Afghan evacuees following the Afghan crisis.

“We provide intensive employment services such as job development, pre-employment training, English as a second language, applications, interviews and upgrades; post-resettlement services; and intensive case management for people in need of special care, ”said Judi Harris, director of refugee resettlement. “We are working with local faith and community groups and individuals to donate furniture and household items to help set up homes. And we have many partner agencies that help with all kinds of services, including education, health care, and community support.

STVCC tries to connect each new family or individual with a volunteer mentor for ongoing support as they adjust to their lives in the United States.

“STVCC believes that every human life is valuable. As a Catholic organization, we follow the doctrine of Matthew 25 and all the dozen other references in the Bible to “welcome strangers,” Harris said. “Resettling refugees saves lives. We hear the stories of our clients and we know that many have suffered far too long and some may not have survived if they had not been resettled.

Not only can our community be a new home and support systems for these newcomers, but they will also be invaluable to our communities.

“We know that refugees are helping us too. There are many studies on the economic contributions of refugees and immigrants, ”said Harris. “And with our current labor shortage, I’m sure they will help many businesses thrive.”

Our staff at Capital Area Michigan Works! is proud to support and represent an inclusive and welcoming community. We are also proud of the work our partners like the Refugee Development Center and St. Vincent Catholic Charities are doing to support refugee populations as they assimilate into their new communities here in the Capital Region. These 300 people represent more than a population count: they are unique people with their own stories, strengths and experiences that help to continue to create a diverse and thriving economy in the Lansing region.

If you are looking to support and welcome Afghan refugees to the area, St. Vincent takes volunteers to help the refugees acclimatize. Learn more about how to get involved with refugee services on the St. Vincent website.

Carrie Rosingana is the CEO of Capital Area Michigan Works! Visitwww.camw.org to connect with the work of the Michigan Capital Region! team for assistance with career exploration or staffing needs. Capital Area Michigan Works !, a proud partner of the American Job Center Network, provides services in Ingham, Clinton and Eaton counties at our US employment centers in Lansing, St. Johns and Charlotte.


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