November 29, 2021

Denver on State Department list of best cities for Afghan refugees to resettle

19 cities are on the list of places the State Department allows Afghan Refugees to pick if they have no other ties to America

DENVER — Colorado is waiting for its newest residents to arrive home, and Denver was named as one of 19 cities across the country identified by the State Department as the best locations for Afghans to resettle.

An estimated 1,500 refugees who fled the Taliban in Afghanistan will arrive in Denver over the coming months to start their new life in America, though the exact number is still unknown. 

Jennifer Wilson is the Executive Director of the International Rescue Committee in Denver, an organization that helps refugees adjust to life in the United States.

“We have something special here. The state is really invested in supporting refugees,” said Wilson. “If you don’t have a tie that’s identified, if you don’t have a family member or a friend that you’re looking to join, you can choose from this list of cities and when you do that you’re eligible to receive services and support.”

Denver was chosen for a variety of reasons, including job opportunities, the prevalence of established refugee communities in the area, and housing.

“Housing is a huge issue,” said Wilson. “It’s not terribly affordable here, but also we do find that because there are jobs and jobs do tend to be higher paying, so people do tend to be able to make it work.”

It’s also on the list because it’s known as a welcoming community. You can see that through the boxes of donations stacked up in Wilson’s office.

“A lot of the items that you’ll see that have been donated are the things that you need to set up a home when you’re arriving with nothing or very little,” said Wilson. 

As they collect donations, they also wait to welcome Colorado’s newest residents home. 

If you’d like to help International Rescue Committee, you can learn more about how to donate or volunteer here. 

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