Catholic Charities to Welcome New Americans from Afghanistan
Added Sep 21, 2021

Catholic Charities, Diocese of Nashville expects to resettle 150 or more Afghans into local communities as part of the effort to help them escape Taliban rule under the State Department’s Afghan Placement Assistance Program.

Helping New Americans acclimate to their new lives in the United States has been an important ministry since our founding in 1962.

Tennessee Office for Refugees (TOR) is a department of Catholic Charities designated and funded by the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) to administer the state refugee resettlement program. For detailed, up-to-date information about the evacuees, the process of being vetted, temporary holding sites, and national programs for assigning evacuees to U.S. communities, please visit the Afghanistan Crisis Response page on the TOR website.

How You Can Help

Support for our New Americans program is critically needed right now. Catholic Charities will receive very little notice about the arrival of new families. We have to quickly secure housing, stock pantries, purchase linens, and much more.

You can click any of the amounts below to donate directly or see additional options for supporting New Americans.

Catholic Charities may eventually accept in-kind donations and other items. We are still determining specific needs and how those items will be collected. We will post requests on our website and social media, as they are identified.

In the future, we expect to need volunteers and mentors to work with the many new families coming to Middle Tennessee. Look for more soon.

When Do Families Begin Arriving?

We cannot say exactly. Here’s a summary of the process that is taking place right now as reported in The Tennessee Register.

Individuals and families are vetted and screened by the Department of Homeland Security, which includes “biometric and biographic screenings conducted by intelligence, law enforcement, and counterterrorism professionals,” before they come to the United States, according to the department.

Once the Afghans arrive in the U.S., they are further processed at one of eight military bases. This consists of medical screenings, including testing for COVID-19, receiving vaccinations, applying for immigration status, and more as coordinated by the U.S. State Department.

Frances Anderson, Tennessee Office for Refugees state refugee health coordinator, deployed to Fort Bliss to assist the State Department in recent processing efforts.

PHOTO CREDIT – Tennessee Register  – CNS photo/Olivier Douliery, pool via Reuters

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