SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — From fear in a war-torn homeland to uncertainty in a new country, thousands of Afghan refugees are now in California hoping to make a new home.
“To have lived lives where they’ve gone to universities, they have studied. They are very educated people. And then have come to the US and have left everything behind. One can only imagine what that may be like,” said Mizgon Darby.
Darby is from Afghanistan and has family still stuck there. She’s done social work with Afghans for over 20 years. She’s now working with the International Rescue Committee which has resettled roughly 3,000 Afghan refugees since August.
“There’s starvation there, there’s lack of medical care there. My aunt, in particular, who is still in Afghanistan has severe kidney issues and she’s not able to get medical care there,” said Darby.
Now comes the challenge of finding a new home where the housing market is already tight.
“I think that the refugee crisis is very sad, it’s very challenging. It’s not just a local problem but a global problem that we in the realtor community are trying to help out with,” said Peter Fong.
Fong, CEO and broker of Capitol Realty Center Inc., says fluctuating interest rates and homeowner uncertainty have led to a limited housing supply. Add an influx of refugees and there are more challenges.
“Coming over here with very little resources from your home country for starters is the first challenge. The second-toughest challenge is the red tape you have to face when you have to get financing from banks, lenders,” said Fong.
From chaos to crisis, people like Mizgon Darby aim to offer hope.
“It’s heartbreaking to see it but at the same time, humanity is there. It’s very strong,” said Darby.
The IRC fully furnishes the homes for refugees. They’re asking the community for furniture, clothing and any other items to help refugees get back on their feet. But like many organizations, they’re also struggling with a lack of volunteers and employees.
If you’d like to help, visit their website.
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