Oregon Legislature approves the spending
uring the December special session, the Oregon Legislature approved
$18 million in funding through SB 5561
for Afghan refugee resettlement efforts.
This funding is intended to provide Afghan individuals and families resettling in Oregon with housing,
education, legal aid, job training and other culturally responsive services.
The Oregon Department of Human Services’ (ODHS) Refugee Program administers
federally funded cash and medical supports to refugees and individuals with eligible
immigration statuses, and contracts with Resettlement Agencies (RAs) to provide initial resettlement services.
The United States is currently coordinating the relocation of more than 70,000
people following their evacuation from Afghanistan.
Afghan families began arriving in Oregon this fall, and the number of arrivals will increase in the coming months.
Oregon has committed to resettling 1,200 Afghan arrivals, but existing federal
funding did not provide adequate support for these efforts.
This newly approved
funding will allegedly address critical resource gaps in the state’s resettlement plan.
The Biden Administration has increased the number of refugees permitted to
enter the United States, but funding and capacity have remained major issues.
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Senator Kayse Jama (D-Portland) and Representative Khanh Pham (D-Portland)
have called for a compassionate response to evacuated Afghan allies, urging the
state to address the gaps and create a strong foundation for refugees’ future in
“We know that Afghan families and individuals coming to Oregon have experienced
trauma,” said ODHS Director Fariborz Pakseresht.
he approved $18 million in funding will enable the department to meet the
needs of Afghan arrivals while building back refugee
resettlement infrastructure to accommodate the increase in arrivals from all around the
Funding includes allocations for the following:
- Short-term housing and food assistance
- Long-term housing assistance
- Case management and community-based outreach and support
- Legal services to seek permanent immigration status
“The state of Oregon has really stepped up to meet the needs of individuals and
families from Afghanistan,” said Claire Seguin, deputy director of ODHS Self-
Sufficiency Programs and the state’s refugee coordinator. “We began this year with
three partner resettlement agencies, and now we have five."
The program partners with Oregon’s five local refugee
resettlement agencies (Catholic Charities, Lutheran Community Services Northwest,
Sponsors Organized to Assist Refugees, Salem for Refugees, and the Immigrant &
Refugee Community Organization).
|Post Date: 2021-12-16 21:42:56||Last Update: 2021-12-16 22:04:07|