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Team Rubicon continues to help hundreds of Afghan refugees resettle in the Denver metro

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Posted at 4:11 PM, Mar 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-07 19:32:00-05

AURORA, Colo. – Nearly seven months after Afghan forces fell to the Taliban following the withdrawal of U.S. troops, a Denver metro organization is still working to resettle hundreds of Afghan refugees.

“We've had just several 100 more Afghan families that have made it to Colorado in the past few months that we've been helping just get resettled,” said Jordon Daniel, the Denver City Administrator for Team Rubicon, a veteran run disaster relief organization. “Oftentimes, what we're seeing is a number of these families are coming in with literally just the clothes that they have on their back.”

Daniel said even though other conflicts have taken over international headlines, for Team Rubicon, Afghanistan is still top of mind.

“The mission goes on,” Daniel said.

Daniel said that includes helping provide clothing, furniture, and household goods to families in need.

Denver Emergency Management Office Public Information Officer Mikayla Ortega said the city has also continued to provide support for Afghan refugees.

“It's been a multi-jurisdictional effort, and internally, a multi-agency effort here in Denver,” Ortega said. “In February, we held a job readiness fair to help newcomers with r´esumé building, helping them with interview tips, and also introducing them to the American work culture and ethics. In addition, each resettlement agency does cultural orientation for newcomers. So what the city did to assist with that is create and provide legal resources, as well as a video in Dari and Pashto.”

Ortega and Daniel said they’ll apply the lessons of the last seven months to future refugees who may need the Denver community’s help.

For Team Rubicon, those lessons are turning out to be useful sooner than expected.

“Right now, we have Team Rubicon volunteers in Poland, Moldova, Hungary and Slovakia ready to help out with more of the medical side of the mission and to help those neighboring countries to Ukraine,” Daniel said.

Daniel said no matter the group, Team Rubicon stands ready to help.

Kit Taintor, with Colorado’s Office of New Americans, provided the following statement in regard to how Colorado is preparing for the possibility of Ukrainian refugees in need of new homes:

"Colorado has welcomed over 270 refugees from Ukraine over the past decade, and our experience in welcoming newcomers in the state prepares us for if and when we receive large numbers of refugees from this conflict."