Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Church World Service announces new Harrisburg office to help resettle Afghan refugees

The Harrisburg skyline

An organization is headed to Harrisburg to help welcome new neighbors to the city.

Church World Service (CWS) announced on Thursday that it will launch an office in Harrisburg to aid incoming Afghan refugees, among others.

“We have seen a huge outpouring of support from communities from coast to coast who want to lend a hand to Afghan families and other refugees and help them get a great start in their new homes,” said CWS Senior Vice President Erol Kekic. “We are thrilled to be expanding our programs to 10 new locations to do just that, and we invite people from all walks of life to partner with us to welcome their new neighbors.”

The Harrisburg office is a branch of CWS’s Lancaster office. The organization has locations across the country.

According to CWS, they expect that over 65,000 Afghan refugees will come to the United States. Their organization will likely serve 6,500 Afghans across the 21 offices it administers and contracts with, according to CWS.

Services will include case management, basic needs support, cultural orientation, health access assistance, and job preparation and placement help.

CWS is one of nine national U.S. resettlement agencies. They partner with local community organizations, volunteers and church congregations to help refugees resettle and become engaged in their new communities.

Staff and volunteers will assist with meeting refugees at the airport, connecting them to housing, ensuring they have food and seasonal clothing and helping parents enroll children in school, among other tasks.

“We are excited to welcome Church World Service into our region as they help refugees from Afghanistan and all over the world settle into Harrisburg,” said Ryan Unger, president and CEO of the Harrisburg Regional Chamber and CREDC. “We are looking forward to welcoming these families as they start their lives in our region and stand ready to make connections with potential careers and employers. We know that many people view employment as a sense of stability and security, and we want to help our new community members achieve that.”

For more information about Church World Services, visit their website.

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