October 19, 2021
The Community Foundation established The Afghan Relief and Resettlement Fund for Northern Virginia at the beginning of September to help meet the immediate and long-term needs of our new Afghan neighbors currently undergoing the challenges associated with the resettlement process. 

After various conversations with local government officials and nonprofits serving this population, we disbursed two grants from the Fund to Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area (LSSNCA) and Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC), both fully engaged in serving Afghans who are resettling in Northern Virginia. The grants will provide crucial support to help the Afghans resettling here, primarily to find housing and immediate income producing employment so that the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) holders can meet the 90-day deadline imposed by the statute for generating employment related income. 

Round One Grantees:

Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area (LSSNCA) walks with those in need and mobilizes community partners to provide services that offer hope and rebuild lives. This grant will support services to ensure that all the daily and immediate needs of incoming Afghan refugees are provided. Refugees and families will receive a wide range of specialized support from LSSNCA including employment services, medical referrals, K-12 educational support, and youth case management, as well as various types of volunteer and mentoring support. Since July 31, LSSNCA has welcomed nearly 1,000 Afghan Allies. As a comparison, LSSNCA welcomed 500 individuals in total last year.
The Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC) provides a variety of services to support refugee and immigrant communities. ECDC has received about five to seven SIV holders per week, along with their families, where family sizes can range from 4-10 people. Resettlement efforts will be handled by caseworkers to facilitate housing, employment, medical care, and to ensure other important social services are provided.

To date, the Afghan Relief and Resettlement Fund for Northern Virginia has received over $190,000 in donations. After these grants are awarded, approximately $124,000 will be available for subsequent grants supporting skills-based training, career coaching services, resume creation, English language proficiency, navigation of public-school systems and other civic institutions, and the like.
Efforts to welcome, assist, and resettle our new Afghan neighbors will be ongoing for months and even years to come. Please give generously, directly or through a grant from your donor-advised fund, to the Afghan Relief and Resettlement Fund for Northern Virginia
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