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Local nonprofit works to resettle Afghan refugees on Central Coast

A newly arrived Afghan family stocks up on donated household items at a refugee resettlement office in Fairfax County, Virginia.
Credit: Joel Rose, NPR
A newly arrived Afghan family stocks up on donated household items at a refugee resettlement office in Fairfax County, Virginia.

After Afghanistan fell to the Taliban last summer, tens of thousands of refugees fled the country.

Now a nonprofit called SLO4Home is fundraising to help at least 10 Afghan families put down roots locally.

“We must all work together to resettle thousands of Afghans who ultimately qualify for refugee status. The United States will do our part,” said President Biden in August of 2021.

American troops fully withdrew from Afghanistan by the end of that month. Well into 2022, organizations are still working to establish refugees across the U.S.

“We just decided, maybe San Luis Obispo, in a small way, could help address this,” said SLO4Home co-founder Lauren Brown.

Brown said the goal is to raise $600,000 and begin supporting at least two families by the end of March.

Vance Rodgers is another co-founder. He said SLO4Home will aim to help refugees meet their basic needs and quickly become positive and constructive members of San Luis Obispo County.

“[We will be] gradually integrating them into the community with employment and education and all the things that anybody in our community needs,” Rodgers said.

Refugee families can also expect to be helped with things like healthcare and transportation.

SLO4Home isn’t limited to supporting just these ten families.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced Thursday that the U.S. is prepared to welcome Ukrainian refugees amid the current Russian invasion there.

Brown said if funding allows, SLO4Home could be part of that.

“So who knows? Maybe we’ll be involved in helping that country and its people too,” Brown said.

If you are interested in volunteering or donating to SLO4Home, click here for more information.

Rachel Showalter first joined KCBX as an intern from Cal Poly in 2017. During her time in college, she anchored and reported for Mustang News at Cal Poly's radio station, KCPR. After graduating, she took her first job as a Producer at KSBY-TV. She returned to the KCBX team in October 2020, reporting daily for KCBX News until she moved to the Pacific Northwest in July of 2022. Rachel spends her off-days climbing rocks, cooking artichokes and fighting crosswords with friends.
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