WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Wichita said since October, more than 250 refugees have made their way to the Air Capital.
The organization is helping them adjust to life in the U.S. by providing resources like cultural orientation and job training. The IRC’s resettlement manager, Morgan Palace, said housing – one of the most important elements – has been complicated to secure.
“When clients first arrive we do need a little bit of time to find them secure and permanent housing so we utilize temporary while we’re having those conversations with landlords. so it has been a bit of a challenge,” said Palace.
She said the organization’s outreach efforts continue to grow helping alleviate the issue. Another crucial part of this organization is its volunteers, like Libby Eaton – who has been collecting carloads of donations each week.
Eaton said she has been touched by the number of people in Wichita willing to help, but feels there is more that can be done.
“Not only has it inspired me, but it has encouraged me to communicate that to total strangers or to talk to groups about this is what a refugee is. This is what they’ve been through. They’re not coming here to take your job. They’re coming to find safety and they’re just so grateful to be here,” said Eaton.
Oth said the need for volunteers and staff at the IRC is increasing because the organization is growing. They expect to welcome about another 200 refugees to Wichita by September of next year.