Oklahoma State University is preparing to help with relocation efforts of Afghan refugees heading to Stillwater, including housing and language assistance, according to a university release.
Some 160 Afghan refugees will resettle in Stillwater out of about 1,850 total for Oklahoma, according to early numbers from the HHS Office of Refugee Resettlement.
Catholic Charities of Eastern Oklahoma is managing the resettlement process with assistance from the Council on American-Islamic Relations Oklahoma chapter.
“CCEOK was notified in early September that assistance was needed to resettle the evacuees in the Stillwater area. OSU and CCEOK are working together to support these families with CCEOK as the lead agency on the Afghan Families-Stillwater Project,” the university release reads. “OSU’s response is being led by the School of Global Studies and Partnerships and includes coordination with OSU’s academic and auxiliary departments, including Student Affairs, Residential Life, OSU Parking and Transit and others. “
According to the release, OSU is expecting the first group of refugees in early November, which will then be housed in approximately 25 unoccupied Residential Life units.
OSU says its English Language and Intercultural Center will provide English as a second language training, the OSU community bus network will provide transportation and the Family Resource Center will provide assistance with food and furniture drives, along with volunteer translation services with help from international clubs and student groups.
OSU has also created a web portal to provide ongoing updates and coordinate assistance efforts at global.okstate.edu/afghan-project/index.html. There will be many donation and volunteer opportunities.
“These families, many with young children, are arriving with nothing but the clothes on their backs,” the release reads. “OSU is seeking the help of faculty, staff and students to assist with a warm community welcome for these families. CCEOK is seeking household items such as furniture, dinnerware, linens, toiletries and more, monetary donations and gift cards to provide long-term assistance for these families.”