Tens of thousands of Afghan families have come to the United States since the withdrawal of troops over the summer. From Virginia to Arizona and Minnesota to Florida, the Lutheran Services in America network is working to assist the newest generation of Americans in planting new roots.
Finding housing for newly arrived families is the priority for Lutheran Services in Iowa. The organization is in constant contact with landlords across Sioux City to find suitable accommodations. In addition to affordable housing, LSI connects refugees with employers in the area, including Tyson Foods.
LSI is working to resettle up to 200 refugees in the area amidst a nationwide labor crunch. The workforce shortage has led the organization to reach out for additional support from the community. “We’re looking for volunteers who can be family mentors and help transport people to appointments and English classes,” said Bethany Kohoutek, vice president of marketing and communications for LSI, in an interview with the Sioux City Journal. Kohoutek welcomes the new arrivals as a “really necessary component of helping Iowa thrive.”
LSI is leading an effort in the community to create welcome boxes for the families, who generally arrive in the United States with minimal possessions. The welcome boxes include necessities such as dishes, bedding items and winter clothing.
Lutheran Services in Iowa is a member of Lutheran Services in America, a nonprofit that harnesses a nationwide network of 300 health and human services organizations to change lives in communities across America. Together, the network works with more than one in 50 people in America each year.
By Christopher Findlay, Senior Marketing Manager