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Refugees from Syria Happy to be in Toledo

Sep 22, 2015

External News

"While the international community debates how to handle the growing migrant crisis out of Syria, Toledo’s only refugee resettlement agency is handling more cases than ever," The Toledo Blade Reports. They recently covered the excellent work that our partners, US Together Toledo, are doing to help Syrians resettled to the United States. 

They write, in part:

Corine Dehabey, resettlement coordinator at US Together Toledo, said her agency is able to handle the increased arrivals. She’s preparing for four or five more Syrian families and expects more in the next weeks and months. Since opening the Toledo office in May, 2014, Ms. Dehabey has resettled on average one family per month from countries all over the world.

National resettlement organization HIAS, which sponsors US Together and its offices in Columbus, Cleveland, and Toledo, is circulating a petition calling for the United States to accept 100,000 Syrian refugees next year. HIAS President and CEO Mark Hetfield said Mr. Obama’s proposal of 10,000 Syrians was not enough.

Among the HIAS-affiliated agencies, across 11 states and the District of Columbia, Toledo has received the most Syrians, Ms. Dehabey said. That’s in part because of Toledo’s well-established Middle Eastern community and welcoming experiences of previous immigrants, she said.

Ms. Dehabey said the Toledo office has a budget for 60 individuals next year. If that number increases dramatically, she said, she will need more staff and volunteers to serve new arrivals. But at the moment, she is receiving them as they come.

Ms. Dehabey, who also is from Syria, is a key facilitator in the refugees’ transition. She takes them grocery shopping and to appointments, and helps them enroll in school and work.

“For the Syrians, when they talk to me about issues, I can relate to the problems, to the killings, to be displaced from your homeland,” she said. “Since I can’t do anything for my country from far away, at least I can help my own people.”

For the full story, click here.