Up to 60 Afghan refugees to be settled in St. Joseph County

The Refugee Steering Committee for South Bend and St. Joseph County will be assisting up to 60 Afghans relocate to St. Joseph County.

The committee includes the City of South Bend, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, the United Religious Community of St. Joseph County, and La Casa de Amistad.

The group met for the first time on November 19 as URC and Catholic Charities prepare to help between 10 and 15 families.

“The St. Joseph County community has been a welcoming home for new Americans since it was formed, and has helped hundreds of refugees to successfully adapt,” noted John Pinter, Executive Director for the URC. “We have heard from many wanting to help and look forward to welcoming families to this community in the near future.”

Members of the committee include law enforcement, public education leaders, health officials and representatives with the state.

“Recent events in Afghanistan have led to a humanitarian crisis,” says Dan Florin, Interim CEO of Catholic Charities. “Since 1975, Catholic Charities has been called upon to help war-torn families put their lives back together and we look forward to continuing our mission in South Bend.”

Arrival dates have not been determined.

URC and Catholic Charities have committed to assisting 30 individuals each, which would be between 10 and 15 families.

“South Bend is a growing, inclusive city that welcomes new residents and embraces diversity,” said Mayor James Mueller. “I am proud of URC and Catholic Charities for leading the way in assisting Afghan refugees to make a new home here in South Bend. I appreciate the many contributions and sacrifices these families made for our country during the long conflict in Afghanistan and I look forward to welcoming them to our community.”

"La Casa de Amistad is prepared and ready to support URC and CCFWSB as we work as a community to support, empower, and welcome our new neighbors from Afghanistan,” said Juan Constantino, Executive Director for La Casa. “We are counting on and are inviting our community to join us in our efforts to welcome these new families to our area."

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