Help needed: Up to 75 Afghan evacuees to be resettled in Fort Wayne

Hundreds of refugees are being processed at Camp Atterbury south of Indianapolis.
Hundreds of refugees are being processed at Camp Atterbury south of Indianapolis.(WPTA)
Updated: Sep. 21, 2021 at 10:46 AM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) - Dozens of refugees from Afghanistan are slated to resettle in Fort Wayne and begin their new lives here.

Hundreds of them are being processed at Camp Atterbury south of Indianapolis.

Catholic Charities in Fort Wayne has worked with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops over the past few weeks to figure out how many of them will need to be resettled.

“The very first thing they’re going to do is figure out if these people have family already living in the States. If they don’t then they’re going to place them where there’s already existing communities or agencies that have the capability of resettlement,” the agency’s Nicole Kurut said.

Kurut says Catholic Charities has just learned that 50 to 75 Afghan refugees, including families, are slated to come to Fort Wayne, no matter where in the country they are right now.

Some of them could arrive as early as this month all the way through March of next year.

Kurut says the community is already reaching out to help, and says the displaced Afghans will need a lot of it.

“There’s already a housing shortage in Fort Wayne so anyone that has extra space or maybe they have a building that has extra rooms in it, we are in definite need for housing,” she said.

A temporary solution may be a hotel or Air BnB.

On top of that, the evacuees will need everything to set up a home, including furniture.

“There’s a huge list that the government makes sure that we have everything in the home down to the can opener. And we’re responsible for putting everything into the house from lamps to bedding to towels to number of certain plates to certain pans,” she said.

Catholic Dharities will also need people to volunteer to be mentors to help the refugees successfully integrate into the community.

“Cultural norms. Is it polite to open a door for someone? Do you stop at a red light, a stop sign? What are some of the local laws, traditions? Rules on sending your kids to school. Things along those lines that might be different in other countries,” Kurut said.

You can drop off new, modest clothing, new sheets and towels, powdered baby formula, and other items at the Fort Wayne Armory at 130 West Cook Road or contact Catholic Charities, especially if you can provide furniture or housing.

Catholic Charities is still looking for more part-time or volunteer translators who can speak Farsi, Dari, Pashto, or Uzbek.

You can call the agency at (260) 422-5625 for more information.

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