APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – At World Relief Fox Valley, preparations for the arrival of Afghan refugees are already underway.
“We feel that we’re equipped,” Tami McLaughlin, director of the organization, explains, “and can welcome well up to 100 people, hopefully, that would be sent our way.”
World Relief Fox Valley is the refugee resettlement agency serving Appleton and Oshkosh.
They’ve petitioned for 100 Afghan refugees to be resettled into the area they served and are awaiting final approval.
If approved, the arrival of the refugees would be staggered through March 2022.
The organization is in contact with its community partners, getting ready to snap into action: “Medical providers, the school systems, literacy councils, technical college,” McLaughlin lists. “Securing housing, we furnish the housing for the individual or families. And then once they arrive, we start walking alongside through enrollments, orientations, those types of things.”
To aid the organization in those efforts, a resolution will be considered by Appleton’s Common Council Wednesday.
“The more we can create an environment that is psychologically supportive to people who are in a state of deep trauma, the better we are able to serve them as a community,” says Appleton Alderperson Vered Meltzer.
The resolution is named Support for the Resettlement of Afghanistan Parolees in Appleton.
‘Parolee’ is a term used for refugees who have been screened by the federal government and approved for conditional resettlement into the country.
If passed, the resolution would serve as a show of support from the City of Appleton to the incoming refugees.
“It’s a posture and a position from our community leaders,” says McLaughlin. “We will get behind this effort and support it in any way we can.”
Meltzer added that the resolution was written in an effort to bring more attention to the issue: “We need to really raise the visibility of the issue in order to bring in more community partners, particularly landlords who are willing to work with us.”
The resolution passed the committee stage with a 5-0 vote.
It will be presented to the full council for a final vote at Wednesday night’s regularly scheduled meeting.