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Afghan refugees expected to start arriving in Baton Rouge by end of September

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BATON ROUGE - States have been notified about how many Afghan evacuees are being resettled in their areas. Out of nearly 37,000, there are 59 coming to Louisiana and 49 of them will be finding homes in the Baton Rouge area.

Catholic Charities says it got the news late Wednesday that the refugees will be here soon. The organization will be assisting in their arrival and acclimation.

Given what's been happening in Afghanistan, David Aguillard with Catholic Charities says the news came quickly.

"This is routine for us," he said. "We resettle evacuees and refugees, political asylees from around the globe. What's a little bit different this time is the compressed time frame. We expect this will take place within two to three weeks, which is why we're reaching out to the community for assistance."

The first refugees are expected to arrive in Louisiana at the end of September. Aguillard says there are 10-12 families, but their ages are unknown. Catholic Charities says it's looking for a little help from the community.

"We need volunteers to show Afghans how to get around Baton Rouge, how to enroll in school, how to access medical services," Aguillard said.

The refugees will be given a limited benefit package for the first 90 days. It will help cover their first three month's rent. In that time, they'll be learning the language, culture, getting a job, and get settled in Baton Rouge. Aguillard says Catholic Charities could be involved with helping the refugees for up to eight months.

"They're legal, documented. They've had safety clearances. They've had extensive medical screenings and received their vaccinations, including COVID," he said.

Catholic Charities says it's looking for furniture and other donations as they find homes for the 49 refugees. For more information on how to donate, go to the organization's website.


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