Local refugee agency says the federal grant for Afghan refugees is not enough, asks community for donations

Posted at 5:31 AM, Aug 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-20 06:17:34-04

In the coming days, Michigan will welcome in hundreds of Afghan refugees. And while the federal government does offer these families a one-time grant upon arrival, a local social service organization says that’s not enough, and is now calling on the community to step up and help.

“They are fearing for their life,” director of Samaritas, a Refugee service center, Mihaela Mitrofan said.

Taliban soldiers have been patrolling the streets with loaded machine guns in Afghanistan forcing families to flee and find a new place to call home.

RELATED: Michigan agency preps to receive Afghan refugees after Taliban takeover

“They ran away grabbing a stove, some flour, and plates," Mitrofan said. "They are just trying to survive somehow.”

In just a couple of days, the Detroit metro area and Grand Rapids will be a new home for some families heading to the United States.

Mitrofan will work with families to house them.

“We look for rental properties," she said. "We have a plea out there to ask for suggestions for homes, condos, apartments.”

But there is a crucial financial need for donations when families arrive.

RELATED: Michigan agencies working out resources to offer help for Afghan refugees

The U.S. government offers a grant that's a little over $1,100 for families who are resettling, an amount Mitrofan says is not enough for families who are starting all over.

“Ideally we’d like to help them for the first 3 to 4—6 months even—just to help get them on their feet.”

For more information, visit the Samaritas website here.