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Refugee Arrivals Have Almost Tripled.
Here's How You Can Help.
In an average year, Opening Doors resettles around 145 refugees. This year, we resettled 373. With our arrivals more than doubling, we increased our staff, intern, and volunteer force to meet the needs of new refugees. But what has caused such a sudden increase? Where are these refugees coming from, and why are they coming to Sacramento?
As the U.S. withdraws more troops from Afghanistan, many Afghans who worked for the U.S. military have no choice but to leave their home country. Most of these people risked their lives translating on the front lines and going on daily patrols, and those who oppose U.S. involvement in Afghanistan now target them. As a result, the U.S. government offers them and their families the opportunity to escape persecution by relocating to the U.S. under the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program.
These Afghan SIVs account for most of the new refugee arrivals to Sacramento. They choose to relocate here for numerous reasons, including the relatively low cost of housing, and the prospect of employment at a local tech company. Perhaps most importantly, Afghan SIVs who have been living here for several months have created a strong community. New arrivals can expect to receive a warm welcome and additional support by friends and family.
How did Opening Doors manage to serve these arrivals in such a short period? Part of the answer was to hire temporary staff and increase the number of interns supporting our work. We are also incredibly grateful to all of the volunteers and donors who have stepped up to help.
However, the work is not done. While the volume of arrivals has slowed recently, we expect to serve 20-30 refugees per month for the next year. We need your help. Donate now. Monetary gifts address the most pressing needs of refugees. We also accept gently used household goods. Incoming refugees need donated furniture, and your gifts will help create a home for a refugee family.
You can also volunteer. Our Refugee Mentorship program needs volunteers for just a few hours a week to work with a refugee family. This is a rewarding opportunity with flexible hours, so if you are interested in giving back to the community, apply today before our next orientation.
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