LANSING, Mich. — In the coming days, Michigan will welcome in hundreds of Afghan refugees. And while the federal government does offer these families a one-time grant upon arrival, a local social service organization says that’s not enough, and is now calling on the community to step up and help.
“They are fearing for their life,” director of Samaritas, a Refugee service center, Mihaela Mitrofan said.
Taliban soldiers have been patrolling the streets with loaded machine guns in Afghanistan forcing families to flee and find a new place to call home.
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“They ran away grabbing a stove, some flour, and plates," Mitrofan said. "They are just trying to survive somehow.”
In just a couple of days, the Detroit metro area and Grand Rapids will be a new home for some families heading to the United States.
Mitrofan will work with families to house them.
“We look for rental properties," she said. "We have a plea out there to ask for suggestions for homes, condos, apartments.”
But there is a crucial financial need for donations when families arrive.
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The U.S. government offers a grant that's a little over $1,100 for families who are resettling, an amount Mitrofan says is not enough for families who are starting all over.
“Ideally we’d like to help them for the first 3 to 4—6 months even—just to help get them on their feet.”
For more information, visit the Samaritas website here.