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Lutheran Social Services Helps Afghan Refugees Get Settled In Jacksonville

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Lutheran Social Services.
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An orientation for Afghan refugees is held in Jacksonville by Lutheran Social Services.

Twenty-two Afghan refugees have arrived in Jacksonville over the past three weeks as the Taliban takes over their country.

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Credit Lutheran Social Services
Azia Fisher of Lutheran Social Services holds up a sign that says welcome in Dari, which is one of the languages spoken in Afghanistan.

Five families of adults and children from Afghanistan are now being set up in area apartments. Some of them have special immigrant VISAs. 

Laura Cook with Lutheran Social Services said her agency is accepting donations of household items like couches, tables, and blankets.

“We’ve had a big outpouring to our organization over this past week from the community; and it’s been really positive and we’re really thankful for that. And right now we’re set up for some good success to serve these families well and to welcome them into our community.”  

The goal is to help refugees become self-sufficient within 90 days by providing jobs and culture orientation. 

“We’ll enroll the children in school and ESOL [English for Speakers of Other Languages] classes they’ll be taking and we’ll help them make sure they have all documents they need to have for security; green cards,” Cook said.

Many of the resettled refugees served as interpreters for the U.S. military in Afghanistan. LSS expects to help more than 275 refugees in the coming fiscal year.

Michelle Corum can be reached at mcorum@wjct.org, 904-358-6308 or on Twitter at @MCorumonME.