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Catholic Charities nearing goal in resettling Afghan refugees in Fort Wayne

Published: Nov. 17, 2021 at 5:15 PM EST
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) - Right now, Fort Wayne is leading the way in taking on the most evacuees in the Hoosier state. Dozens of refugees from Afghanistan are already resettled in the city now, with more families coming to start a new life.

Catholic Charities says it is getting close to its commitment of resettling 75 individuals, but the effort still faces some big challenges. Back in August with the sudden evacuation of U.S. military troops from that country, tens of thousands of people there fled for their lives from the Taliban. Lots of those people came to safe haven camps like Camp Atterbury south of Indianapolis.

At a gathering Wednesday, it was revealed that less than half the 60 resettled Afghans in Fort Wayne are in permanent housing.

“We continue to work with landlords and churches and frankly families that would be willing to be host families for the folks that are here, so permanent housing remains an issue, it’s in very short supply,” said Dan Florin, the interim CEO of Catholic Charities of the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese.

Samir Zubair, who escaped Taliban persecution in Afghanistan in 2001, relocated to Fort Wayne. He is now a district manager for an area restaurant chain. He has met with the new arrival refugees.

“I do tell them, at first it was hard, we lived it, went through it. But being able to stand and share in some of my success stories with them and what I’ve done over the course of time and I tell them, they’re no different than me,” Zubair said.

Indianapolis will eventually integrate the largest number of refugees for Indiana.

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