Bethany Christian Services to resettle around 250 Afghan allies and refugees in West Michigan
Bethany Christian Services is working to resettle around 250 Afghan allies and refugees to West Michigan over the next several months. The group has helped resettle refugees in Michigan for more than 45 years and say federal agencies are currently working around the clock to fully vet allies coming into the area.
“Scenes we've witnessed in Afghanistan over the past month underscore the danger afghans who assisted the U.S. as well as the likelihood of Afghans fleeing in the coming months," Chris Palusky, Bethany Christian Service’s President and CEO, said.
Palusky lived in Afghanistan from 2000-2001, and said this work hits home.
"It’s a brutal government," he said, "...and it really grieves me that women and girls will lose their rights."
Resettlement will be led by Bethany offices in Grand Rapids, Holland Muskegon and Kalamazoo. Susan Kragt, Michigan Director of Refugee and Immigrant Services at Bethany said they will need help from the community to welcome new neighbors in.
“Volunteers who can walk alongside new arrivals, helping them get acclimated" she listed, "...helping with practicing English childcare, basically being a good neighbor and friend.”
The group is also looking for housing for refugees, as they create a road to self sufficiency.