DES MOINES, Iowa — As of Aug. 27, Iowa has welcomed one family of refugees fleeing Afghanistan due to the Taliban takeover of the country, but more are likely on the way. Fortunately, there are plenty of services available to help make their move to a new home as smooth as possible.
"This is a rapidly evolving situation, and so we're just trying to prepare and have everything ready so that we can accommodate those numbers," said Laura Thako, a development associate with the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI).
Between now and March, 300 Afghan refugees could make central Iowa home according to the USCRI.
"It's a tremendous opportunity for Iowans to really build a stronger community to support our neighbors, to really welcome people into our lives together," said Sen. Sarah Trone Garriott, D-Windsor Heights.
There are plenty of ways to help those future Iowans. You can donate to refugee resettlement organizations like the USCRI here. Beyond that, it's easy to show our new community members some "Iowa Nice."
"They're good neighbors, they're good friends, they're coworkers, and getting to know these neighbors, helping them off to a good start, will only benefit us," Garriott said.
Thako told Local 5 there's another way to help, too. The USCRI is looking for landlords and property managers who would be willing to help provide affordable rental properties for refugee families.