Memphis welcoming 25 Afghan refugees; city and county government working to provide jobs and housing

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Memphis-based organization is making arrangements for Afghan refugees to call the Mid-South home.

Ten days after America complete its withdrawal from Afghanistan, preparations are underway to receive Afghan refugees in Memphis. World Relief Memphis, an organization that supports immigrants and refugees coming to America, is set to receive 25 Afghan refugees as early as next week.

Unlike previous years, they will do so with the support of the City of Memphis and Shelby County.

“What a day this is today in Memphis, when we say as a community to our newest neighbors, you are welcome here,” said Executive Director PJ Moore. “To have partners across the city, including employers, including the city including the county with those additional resources, it allows us to build a warmer welcome, and as we’re inviting families here to our city.”

Thursday, the City of Memphis announced it signed a contract with World Relief Memphis and will provide workforce development for refugees, while Shelby County is looking into providing housing options.

“It is our duty, our responsibility as Americans to offer a helping hand to those who risked their lives to help us,” said Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland.

“We have a moral obligation to help, and our faith, and this is the centerpiece of the Bible belt,” Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris said. “Our faith teaches us that we should give aide to the most vulnerable.”

The 25 refugees will arrive in Memphis under a temporary status called humanitarian parole, which means they won’t qualify for federal funded programs, making it more difficult for them get settled.

“It’s imperative that everyone who cares for the lives of the vulnerable, and the oppressed, get involved,” Moor said. “Our nation’s Afghan allies and the many parolees and other vulnerable groups who are accompanying them need our help.”

For those of you looking to assist with their transition, World Relief Memphis is accepting donations, furniture and other items.

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