Catholic Charities Prepares To Possibly Host Afghan Refugees In Tulsa

Published by News on 6
Amy Avery

TULSA, Oklahoma - 

Catholic Charities of Eastern Oklahoma is preparing to possibly host families from Afghanistan in Tulsa. The organization filled out a capacity survey letting the state department know they were prepared to provide a place to live for 50 to 100 Afghan families.

Tens of thousands of people are desperately trying to get out as the Taliban gains even more control. Many fear for their lives and are looking to find a safe place to go.

“Just welcome them with open arms and know that these are good people who just really want a shot at life,” said Retired U-S Army Captain Adam Pasque.

Some area veterans said they're so relieved some of the people they worked with every day will finally be free.

"I hope that Tulsa will accept and welcome these families that have sacrificed for so long just to try to get to America," said Pasque.

Retired U.S. Army Captain Adam Pasque served two tours overseas, most recently in Northern Afghanistan. Pasque said the situation now is much different than when he left last year.

"Every day, we were witnessing children go to school, women go to market or go to school and just live their life free and without any kind of tyrannical rule or without any rules imposed on them by a government,” said Pasque.

The UN Refugee Agency said violence has displaced nearly three and a half million Afghans in the past year.

Deacon Kevin Sartorius said some families could arrive in less than 30 days and others could come in the next three to six months.

"We've given assurance to the state department that we'll provide quality services and care, and those services include setting up an apartment for every case, every family,” said Deacon Kevin Sartorius.

Deacon Sartorius said they'll provide each family with a furnished apartment and food to eat. They'll also help get kids enrolled in school, and help families find jobs.

"We have done refugees for a long time and what we've always seen is that we help them a little bit up front and they help our community for decades,” said Deacon Sartorius.

Pasque said he still keeps in touch with one of the interpreters he worked with while overseas. He said he hopes to one day bring him to Tulsa.

"A lot of these families and individuals that are coming to America and seeking evacuation are ones that worked with us hand in hand every day and they did it at great personal risk,” said Pasque.

Pasque said he hopes Tulsans will welcome families with open arms because they've sacrificed a lot to get here.

"They gave more than I did every single day to try to earn not only the freedoms they enjoy in their own country, but with even the slightest hope that they could come to America,” said Pasque.

The capacity survey was due on Wednesday and Deacon Kevin Sartorius said they should know more next week.

Catholic Charities said they'll likely need donations to furnish apartments in the coming weeks once they have the details worked out.

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Catholic Charities Prepares To Possibly Host Afghan Refugees In Tulsa | News on 6