PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Diocese of Providence is preparing to take in any Afghan refugees who are looking to call Rhode Island home.
Secretary for Catholic Charities and Social Ministry Jim Jahnz estimates that the Diocese will be able to support up to 100 Afghans, though it’s unclear how many will actually arrive in the Ocean State.
Jahnz said Afghan refugees will likely be housed within the state’s communities, but since they have only been granted “parole status,” they won’t be eligible for most federal benefits and entitlements.
This means for most refugees, finding affordable housing will be a challenge.
“That will be an issue that Afghan refugees will face here in Rhode Island, the same crunch that all Rhode Islanders are facing – a lack of affordable housing,” Jahnz explained.
This is why Jahnz said his office is committed to helping refugees resettle in the United States in any way they can.
“As a mission-based agency, our staff will do whatever it takes to help those in need,” he said.
Right now, Jahnz said the Diocese’s Office of Immigration Services has seven people working to provide support to refugees.