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King County Executive
Dow Constantine


King County prepares to welcome Afghan refugees with temporary housing and community investments

Summary

King County is investing $500,000 and collaborating with community partners to provide temporary housing at a recently purchased hotel, along with language supports and community grants, as part of its efforts to welcome Afghan refugees as they prepare for resettlement.

Story

King County Executive Dow Constantine announced today a set of investments to support the anticipated influx of Afghan refugees arriving in King County. This includes temporary housing at the Extended Stay America in Federal Way, which the County purchased in July to house people experiencing chronic homelessness in South King County. It will be repurposed in the short-term for arriving Afghan refugees.

King County has pledged to work with local, state, and federal partners and the Afghan-American community to enable Afghans looking for refuge to resettle in the county and begin life in America. 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.

“The fabric of our community is continually strengthened by those who arrive here from other nations, whether under duress or by choice. These investments in resettlement help open a new chapter in the lives of these families as they start afresh here in King County,” said Executive Constantine. “We can help by taking concrete action to make sure families, and the community partners who will support them, have what they need to ease the process of resettling.”

“World Relief commends the King County Executive for taking proactive steps to welcome Afghan refugees with bold policy action and resources," said Chitra Hanstad, Executive Director of World Relief, based in Kent. "As we take on the important work of getting our new neighbors settled in and ready to start their lives in the Pacific Northwest, the incredible support of the county with this innovative private/public partnership will provide much-needed capacity to get folks into housing and ready to navigate their new communities.”

“We are excited about this new partnership with King County to temporarily house Afghan refugees in safe and secure housing,” said Kathleen Morris, Deputy Director of the International Rescue Committee, based in SeaTac. “Welcoming refugees is an imperative and a long standing practice here in the Puget Sound Region, and we are looking forward to collaborating with the county to ensure that these new residents have what they need to join the community and participate in the life of this place.”

"MAPS-AMEN is grateful to have a partner in King County as we work across the region to welcome and support Afghan refugees," said Aneelah Afzali, Executive Director, Muslim Association of Puget Sound - American Muslim Empowerment Network (MAPS-AMEN). "Being a welcoming community means dedicating resources and taking decisive policy actions to make sure people who arrive here have what they need to put down roots and contribute to the vibrant fabric of our communities. MAPS-AMEN looks forward to collaborating with the county and thanks the County Executive for his leadership to ensure King County welcomes and supports refugees from Afghanistan."

“These are people who have come with only the clothes on their backs, with the dream in their heart to seek freedom,” said Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell. “Our residents and I welcome them with open arms.”


Quotes

The fabric of our community is continually strengthened by those who arrive here from other nations, whether under duress or by choice. These investments in resettlement help open a new chapter in the lives of these families as they start afresh here in King County. We can help by taking concrete action to make sure families, and the community partners who will support them, have what they need to ease the process of resettling.

Dow Constantine, King County Executive

World Relief commends the King County Executive for taking proactive steps to welcome Afghan refugees with bold policy action and resources. As we take on the important work of getting our new neighbors settled in and ready to start their lives in the Pacific Northwest, the incredible support of the county with this innovative private/public partnership will provide much-needed capacity to get folks into housing and ready to navigate their new communities.

Chitra Hanstad, Executive Director, World Relief

We are excited about this new partnership with King County to temporarily house Afghan refugees in safe and secure housing. Welcoming refugees is an imperative and a long standing practice here in the Puget Sound Region, and we are looking forward to collaborating with the county to ensure that these new residents have what they need to join the community and participate in the life of this place.

Kathleen Morris, Deputy Director, International Rescue Committee

MAPS-AMEN is grateful to have a partner in King County as we work across the region to welcome and support Afghan refugees. Being a welcoming community means dedicating resources and taking decisive policy actions to make sure people who arrive here have what they need to put down roots and contribute to the vibrant fabric of our communities. MAPS-AMEN looks forward to collaborating with the county and thanks the County Executive for his leadership to ensure King County welcomes and supports refugees from Afghanistan.

Aneelah Afzali, Executive Director, Muslim Association of Puget Sound - American Muslim Empowerment Network (MAPS-AMEN)

These are people who have come with only the clothes on their backs, with the dream in their heart to seek freedom. Our residents and I welcome them with open arms.

Jim Ferrell, Federal Way Mayor

For more information, contact:

Chase Gallagher, Executive Office, 206-263-8537


King County Executive
Dow Constantine
Dow constantine portrait

Read the Executive's biography