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King County Executive
Dow Constantine


Executive Constantine welcomes Afghan refugees resettling in King County at county-owned former hotel

Summary

King County is hosting around 130 Afghan refugees at the county-owned former hotel in Federal Way, and last week Executive Dow Constantine met with them to discuss how King County can support the new residents as they settle in and prepare for life in King County.

Story

Visiting with refugee family

Utilizing a recently purchased former hotel property, King County welcomed nearly 130 Afghan refugees in Federal Way as they resettle in the United States. Last week Executive Constantine visited with several refugees at the former hotel, to hear directly how King County can support them, and brought grocery store gift cards and children’s toys to the residents.

The new residents are staying at the former Extended Stay America hotel, which was purchased in July as part of the Health through Housing initiative to house people experiencing chronic homelessness in King County. The property is currently being repurposed as short-term housing, working with partners at the International Rescue Committee and World Relief.

During the visit Executive Constantine spoke to a father who arrived with his wife and five children, and another individual who is a former member of the Special Forces in Afghanistan. The refugees expressed both the difficulty of the sudden transition they are experiencing and the excitement of starting a new life here in the United States. The father looked forward to finding a permanent home so his children could be enrolled in a local school and begin their lives in King County.

“It’s an honor to welcome these new residents to King County, and we are here to help them resettle,” said Executive Constantine. “Day in and day out, we seek to be a welcoming community where every person can thrive, and this is another opportunity for our work to match our ideals."

Last month, King County announced a set of investments to support arriving Afghans, working with local, state, and federal partners and the Afghan-American community. The investments include:

  • Partnering with World Relief, the International Rescue Committee, and other local resettlement agencies to make available temporary housing for individuals and families while they await placement in permanent housing. The County will also provide staffing support.
  • Utilizing $250,000 from the Office of Equity and Social Justice’s language access program to provide language supports such as translation, interpretation, and more.
  • Utilizing $250,000 from the Department of Community and Human Services to provide one-time grants to community-based organizations who are supporting Afghan resettlement efforts. These grants can be used to support emerging needs and ease capacity constraints so that our community partners can do what they do best.

King County encourages individuals and organizations to come together to provide their talents in helping to serve our new Afghan community members. Those with experience providing resettlement services or language access services are invited to apply for the available grants.


Relevant links


Quotes

It’s an honor to welcome these new residents to King County, and we are here to help them resettle. Day in and day out, we seek to be a welcoming community where every person can thrive, and this is another opportunity for our work to match our ideals.

Dow Constantine, King County Executive

For more information, contact:

Chase Gallagher, Executive Office, 206-263-8537


King County Executive
Dow Constantine
Dow constantine portrait

Read the Executive's biography