Recently, there has been an influx of refugee families in Washington County and no one to help them outside of the Refugee Welcome Network (RWN). We need funds, furnishings and volunteers to stabilize them and help us work with them toward self-sufficiency.
Just in the last few weeks, the RWN settled two new families into housing with a third currently waiting for housing and help. At the same time, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) just became available to our Afghan families who are undocumented; this is a chance to become documented and an opportunity to receive work permits much faster than through the asylum process, as well as a path to citizenship! However, TPS costs $1,190 per family x 3 families = $3,570.
The community has been incredibly generous in helping our refugee friends become settled and self-sufficient. Several families are nearly ready to “graduate” from this support network, so we know the system works and has been a blessing. Thanks to all who have been a part of that through your contributions of time, treasure and talents! However, RWN funds are super low and we need your help to cover monthly rent payments and TPS applications, as well as other urgent needs that arise for food, medical and more. We estimate needing at least $20,00o over the next 5 months just to bring the current families to self-sufficiency and obtain TPS for three families. If you can help with even a small gift, please donate via the HARC website and designate “refugees.”
Another great need is VOLUNTEERS to be family “friends” and to help on various teams, such as procurement of furniture and goods, transportation, asylum applications, housing, etc. If interested, contact Kathy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also need many furnishings to set up housing for our newest families. Here’s what we currently need below (updated 10/3/23). If you can help with anything, please contact Jane Powell at email@example.com or 240-469-5084. Keep in mind that the families are in small apartments with limited space and narrow staircases, so large pieces of furniture don’t work well.
Sofa (not sectional)
TVs & tables for TV
kitchen table with 4 chairs (small to medium size, not dining table)
queen mattress & frame
dresser (tall style, not long)
area rug (prefer 6 x 8 or bigger)
crib sheets (top sheets only)
toddler sippy cups
toys and books
table with a chair to use for study/work
Grocery gift cards or Visa gift cards