What’s happening?

Despite community support, some Afghan refugees in Baltimore are considering leaving the city due to concerns about housing, safety, and insufficient financial assistance from resettlement agencies, Alissa Zhou reports for The Baltimore Banner.

What are refugees saying about these issues? 

Of the at least 481 Afghan refugees in Baltimore, advocates estimate about 120 are now living in apartment buildings in Reservoir Hill. But some refugees have expressed frustration with the quality of housing and other safety issues, including mice infestations and gunshots. Others have reported that case workers assigned to them by the International Rescue Committee have been slow to respond and secure the necessary paperwork for them to find jobs.

“We want to live in a safe environment and start working and stand on our feet, not dependent on an organization or anybody else,” said S, an Afghan interpreter with the Luminus Network for New Americans’ welcome center in Reservoir Hill. 

Anything else I should know? 

Several organizations in the area provide assistance to Afghan refugees, including the Luminus Network, Brown Memorial Park Avenue Presbyterian Church, Memorial Episcopal Church, Beth Am Synagogue, St. Francis Neighborhood Center, Dar Al-Taqwa Mosque, and the Maryland Afghan Refugee Crisis. 

You can read more here.