NKY partners are ready to welcome Afghan evacuees to their community; KRM reopens Covington office


Northern Kentucky organizations continue to prioritize making the region a welcoming and inclusive place by supporting neighbors of all backgrounds.

Afghan evacuees will join the NKY community in the coming weeks, and a coalition of northern Kentucky partners will welcome displaced refugees to the region as part of the Afghan evacuee hosting plan for NKY.

Click on the image to see the plan

The Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce (NKY Chamber), RefugeeConnect, Kentucky Refugee Ministries (KRM) and Horizon Community Funds of NKY are teaming up in a community effort to provide resources and connections to Afghan evacuees to ensure that NKY delivers a welcoming home for those who have been displaced.

Other community partners have been closely involved in these efforts, including St. Elizabeth Healthcare, The Immigrant and Refugee Law Center, NKY Health Department, Kenton County Library, the Northern KY Justice and Peace Committee, Learning Grove, the Center for Great Neighborhoods , the NKY Area Center of United Way of Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky University, Cincinnati Compass and Welcome House of Northern Kentucky.

Kentucky Refugee Ministries is reopening its Covington office, while Horizon Community Funds launched the NKY Afghan Evacuees Community Fund to support and enable Afghans to thrive in northern Kentucky upon relocation.

KRM’s office will be located at the Center for Great Neighborhoods (321 Martin Luther King Blvd., Covington). Three full-time jobs are available on site, including that of Relocation Director, Case Manager and Community Resource Coordinator.

The office is expected to open on November 15, but a community welcome for newly arrived Afghan evacuees could take place before that date in coordination with the partner coalition in northern Kentucky. Those interested in learning more about vacancies or applying for jobs can visit kyrm.org/careers/.

“In recent years, northern Kentucky has experienced dynamic growth, economic and otherwise,” said John Koehlinger, executive director of Kentucky Refugee Ministries. “I am encouraged that the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, as well as a wide range of leading players in the development of Northern Kentucky, are partnering with KRM to welcome refugees and immigrants in the region. As the crisis in Afghanistan has shown, there is an urgent humanitarian need for this effort.

“But as we have seen throughout KRM’s 31-year history – and the history of the US refugee program – persecuted people around the world embrace and contribute to these communities that provide them with freedom, security. and opportunities. At KRM, we look forward to working with all partners in Northern Kentucky to provide humanitarian support to refugees and to build a prosperous and inclusive community for all.

KRM’s services include helping refugees and immigrants access housing, health care and eligible public benefits as well as employment and legal services.

The Horizon Community Fund NKY Community Fund for Afghan Evacuees will support nonprofits and charities that are directly involved in supporting Afghan resettlement efforts. Northern Kentucky residents and organizations interested in supporting the fund can find out more and donate here.

“Horizon Community Funds is proud to partner with the Northern Kentucky Chamber, Kentucky Refugee Ministries and RefugeeConnect to help Afghan evacuees who have been displaced from their community and home,” said Nancy Grayson, President of Horizon Community Funds. “Donations from our community are essential in helping these families and individuals during this humanitarian crisis. Our nonprofit partners have come together to ensure that our pooled resources are used effectively and efficiently to help those in need.

RefugeeConnect will coordinate hospitality efforts in the region. RefugeeConnect’s mission is to connect refugees (people forced to flee their country to escape persecution or war) with resources to rebuild their lives as American citizens. The Junior League of Cincinnati launched RefugeeConnect in 2013 after a routine community needs assessment determined that connecting refugees to existing resources was an urgent need for women and children in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. The association became an independent non-profit association in 2018.

Refugee Photo Connect

“As an organization, RefugeeConnect is proud to help create a more welcoming community for all,” said Kristin Burgoyne, Executive Director of RefugeeConnect. “Since our inception, we have facilitated collaborative leadership opportunities through our Refugee Empowerment Initiative. Our goal is to bring together stakeholders, nonprofits, cultural leaders and providers from across the NKY region to welcome and welcome this new refugee population as they resettle and rebuild their lives, while strengthening culturally trauma-sensitive services that will support long life. long-term objectives of our new neighbors. We are proud to partner with Kentucky Refugee Ministries, the NKY Chamber of Commerce, and all organizations and providers who have come together to support this humanitarian effort to resettle Afghan evacuees. It will really take a community wide effort and we see how compassionate and generous NKY is through this welcoming working group. “

The NKY Reception Plan, launched in March 2020 by GROW NKY and multiple partners, laid the foundation for these community efforts and mobilized partners to support the Afghan Evacuee Reception Plan for NKY and help reopen the Covington KRM office.

GROW NKY is a strategic workforce collective made up of leaders of NKY organizations working collaboratively to leverage the strengths of the region to develop, attract and retain a competitive workforce in the global scale. The NKY Chamber serves as the backbone organization at the head of the GROW NKY collective.

The strategic imperatives of the NKY Chamber include “creating an inclusive business community” and “growing, attracting and retaining world-class talent”.

Resettlement of refugees (photo KRM)

Helping lead the Afghan Evacuee Hospitality Plan for NKY is one way for the NKY Chamber to continue to meet these imperatives and uplift people, businesses and neighbors from all walks of life.

“Northern Kentucky is truly a welcoming and diverse community where businesses, organizations and people from all walks of life can thrive,” said Leisa Mulcahy, General Manager of GROW NKY and Vice President of Workforce at the NKY Chamber. “Our partners who have come together to welcome the Afghan evacuees are proof that GROW NKY’s work to unite like-minded organizations and create the NKY welcome plan is bearing fruit and will bear fruit in the future. “

Additionally, St. Elizabeth Healthcare, Northern Kentucky’s premier healthcare provider and the region’s largest private employer, is committed to providing comprehensive and compassionate care to evacuees, including mental health services. .

“These people have gone through a lot of trauma having had to evacuate their country of origin”, declared Alieu Nyassi, asst. Vice President, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at St. Elizabeth Healthcare. “St. Elizabeth Healthcare wants to make sure that we provide mental health services, as well as comprehensive care, to these people to treat the whole patient. We are ready to lend a hand to these evacuees as soon as they join our community. It is also important to note that these Afghans have sacrificed and risked their lives for our brothers, sisters, sons and daughters over the past 20 years. It’s time for us to show that we also care about their well-being. “


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