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Afghans living in San Antonio can get resettlement help at upcoming event

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REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
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A girl holding a U.S. flag waits with her parents for Afghan relatives at a processing center for refugees evacuated from Afghanistan at the Dulles Expo Center near Dulles International Airport in Chantilly, Virginia, U.S., August 24, 2021.

The event brings together state, federal and community resources aimed at helping Afghan refugees resettle and integrate into the U.S.

The Texas Office for Refugees, HHS and the Office of Refugee Resettlement are hosting a resource event early next week for Afghan refugees living in San Antonio. It’s a chance for Afghans to learn about assistance programs they may be eligible for.

After the U.S. withdrew from Afghanistan last year, Texas received more Afghan refugees than any other state. That meant resettlement agencies and community organizations were pushed to the brink – and Afghans weren’t necessarily made aware of all the help they qualified for.

“There's been a lot of learning that we've had to do — a lot of sharing and educating — to help folks understand what that pathway looks like for our Afghan guests,” said Jeffrey Demers of the Texas Office for Refugees in Fort Worth.

“By bringing some of these community organizations to the table, we feel like it really fills a gap,”he said.

Refugees may be eligible for cash assistance, medical assistance, employment preparation, job placement, English language training, and other services offered through the Office of Refugee Resettlement. They may also be eligible for federal “mainstream” (non-ORR funded) benefits, like cash assistance through Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), health insurance through Medicaid, and food assistance through Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Other state and community-level resources are available as well. Representatives from USCIS, HeadStart, WIC, Workforce Solutions, University Health, Northeast ISD, and other community organizations will also be available to answer questions.

The Military Desk at Texas Public Radio is made possible in part by North Park Lincoln and Rise Recovery.

Location: Hacienda Santa Maria, 2121 N. Saint Mary's St. San Antonio, TX 78212

Dates: 12 ‐ 15 September 2022, Monday to Thursday

Time: 11:00am – 6:00pm

  • Please bring a copy of your Social Security Card and/or I‐94, ID, and passport  
  • Please bring children’s immunization records and additional family medical documents    Starting September 6th, 2022 you can call 888.203.1153 to set up a ride to the event or visit https://evacueewelcomecenter.org/ to schedule a ride.     
  • Free parking available.    
  • Interpreters will be onsite.

 Resources provided onsite include:

  • School district support and resources   
  • Onsite providers to help with public benefits applications and questions  
  • Career development opportunities  
  • On‐site health & medical providers to offer information and services    
  • General information from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services  
  • Donations onsite. 
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Carson Frame can be reached carson@tpr.org and on Twitter at @carson_frame