‘People are warm and welcoming’: Afghan refugees talk new life in Green Bay

Local News

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) — A milestone for Catholic Charities and its relocation efforts for refugees from Afghanistan. The group says they have now settled 100 people in Green Bay.

“People are warm and welcoming,” one of the men told Local 5’s Barrett Tryon on Friday. He, like so many others, is adjusting to his new life here.

“(We) are very new to this culture,” he said. “(We) are new to everything.”

It’s too dangerous for the men to be identified, for fear of what the Taliban might do to their families who are still in the country. One man told us he will likely never see his family again.

“They are exposed to great threat, but I cannot do anything. I cannot bring them here. I cannot provide a safe space for them, so it’s very disappointing,” he said.

Sadly, he has no way to safely contact them. He says he is starting life over with his wife here in the states.

Since October, Catholic Charities has now helped more than 120 Afghan refugees resettle to the Green Bay area.

“The night the Taliban took over Afghanistan, the 15th of August I think, everything changed,” another man told Local 5.

He was working at the airport when the Taliban took over. He was forced to make a split-second decision to save his own life.

“My family didn’t even know what was going on. After three days, I text my brother I am in Qatar, and I left the country. They were shocked for three days I didn’t text them and tried to call me but no answer, so it was really hard for me,” he said.

Both men say they are ready to begin their new lives here.

“To be in a good and safe place, I really appreciate that.” They both credited Catholic Charities with helping them establish their new homes.

Of course, living in Green Bay means you come to love the green and gold.

“We find out the Packer is a big game that everyone likes here. And two times me and my friends went to the stadium to watch the game and it was interesting,” one of the men said.

Catholic Charities said it is desperately looking for housing for some of its larger families. Ideally, it would like to find at least four housing arrangements, of at least 3-5 bedrooms, by Jan. 20. If you’re interested, or might want to help in other ways, you can contact the group on its website.

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