Nebraska Prepares to Welcome Afghan Refugee Families

Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska, Inc. is gearing up to welcome refugee families this summer. A few families are arriving in Omaha throughout the month of July, and more are expected throughout the rest of the year. Resettling refugee families takes a lot of behind-the-scenes work consisting of finding affordable housing, furnishing a home, stocking it with household supplies, kitchen items, and groceries, and preparing the family for employment and education them about their new community.

We are expecting heavy amounts of arrivals from Burma, Sudan, Afghanistan, and other countries. As the U.S. military is being pulled from Afghanistan, we expect to see an influx of SIV cases arriving in the U.S. But what is an SIV, and why is it important? SIVs are men and women who risked their lives to help the U.S. military overseas. They were employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government to help U.S. troops. Many acted as interpreters. SIVs are U.S. military veterans who need our help escaping persecution and seeking safety outside of the war zones.

As many as 18,000 Afghans and their families await approval of their visas to escape persecution. Often, SIV cases arrive in Nebraska as “walk-in” cases, meaning we will have little to no knowledge of their travel prior to their arrival. Once they are approved and in the LFS system, we must quickly find housing and supplies to help them resettle in their new community.

As servants on earth, it is our privilege, our duty and our call to extend our concern and compassion to all who are in need. As an organization, Lutheran Family Services stands ready to receive Afghan allies and refugees seeking safety and security in the U.S.  For more information on how you can help please visit the LFS website at: