Afghan Immigrants Arriving to the Bay Area Get Help From Local Agencies

After the Taliban takeover of Kabul, thousands of Afghan immigrants are fleeing their country. 

Many of those who received emergency immigrant visas for helping U.S. forces are headed to the Bay Area, while dozens of them have already arrived. Some of these families are starting to settle in with assistance of some local agencies. 

Jordane Tofighi, director at The International Rescue Committee in Oakland said they’ve had 34 individuals and more families coming in recent weeks. 

“We have a settlement program that once they arrive, we pick them up at the airport and enroll the kids in schools and get them medical appointments,” Tofighi said. 

Jewish Family and Community Services East Bay is another agency assisting Afghans with special immigrant visas, and expects 50 to arrive in the next few weeks. Language barrier is only one of the many challenges these individuals face. 

“To leave your house and home in this chaotic situation while leaving family behind is difficult,” said Fouzia Azizi, director of refugee services at Jewish Family and Community Services East Bay.

Both agencies are currently looking for help from the public, specifically cash donations and household items.

However, in a place as pricey as the Bay Area, the biggest need is housing. 

“If they have any cottage or in-law unit to house a small family for a few months, that’s really appreciated,” said Azizi.

Here you can find more information about the Jewish Family and Community Services East Bay and the International Rescue Committee in Oakland.

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