Governor Polis, Community Leaders Announce Recipients of Grant to Support Colorado’s Efforts to Welcome Afghan Evacuees, Connect Arrivals with Critical Community Resources
DENVER, CO (STL.News) Governor Jared Polis and community leaders announced the recipients of the Colorado Afghan Evacuee Support Fund which, in partnership with fiscal sponsor Rose Community Foundation, provides essential support to organizations working to welcome Afghan evacuees to Colorado, connect newcomers to critical community resources, and ensure evacuees can thrive in Colorado.
“The Colorado spirit shines through in moments like this, as we welcome courageous Afghan evacuees who’ve worked with American forces and continue to provide real support for those facing the challenge of rebuilding their lives here. Diversity is Colorado’s strength, and we are committed to ensuring Colorado remains a place for all to thrive,” said Gov. Polis.
The grant recipients provide support for evacuees with resettlement services, health and mental health services, legal services to help evacuees navigate available pathways for permanency in the U.S., and other forms of urgently needed assistance.
“We are grateful to the Colorado nonprofits providing Afghan evacuees with essential services and appreciate the individual donors, corporations and peer foundations supporting those vital efforts through the Colorado Afghan Evacuee Support Fund,” said Lindy Eichenbaum Lent, president and CEO of Rose Community Foundation. “We also know that organizations and individuals are sponsoring families through churches, synagogues, mosques, school groups and other community efforts reflecting the regional commitment to welcoming and integrating Afghan evacuees as they begin the next chapter of their lives in Colorado.”
Over 1,970 Afghan evacuees have arrived in Colorado since August 2021. Colorado’s refugee and immigrant communities are an economic engine, helping to create jobs and run small businesses. For every federal dollar Colorado invests in their well-being, the state sees $1.23 returned in state and local tax revenue.
The Colorado Afghan Evacuee Support Fund is the latest in a series of steps the Polis Administration has taken to support and welcome Afghan evacuees. In June 2021, Governor Polis signed HB21-1150 creating an Office of New Americans within Colorado’s Department of Labor and Employment, and in August 2021, the Governor sent a letter to President Biden telling him that Colorado stood ready to provide safety and opportunity to Afghan evacuees and Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) holders.
Recipients of the Colorado Afghan Evacuee Support Fund grants include:
- African Community Center
- International Rescue Committee Denver
- Jewish Family Service
- Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains
- Project Worthmore
- Mental health services:
- Adams 12 School District
- Asian Pacific Development Center of Colorado
- Aurora Mental Health Center
- Immigrant and Refugee Mental Health Program at University of Colorado (Anschutz Campus)
- Jewish Family Service
- Muslim Youth for Positive Impact
- The Trauma and Disaster Recovery Clinic at the University of Denver
- Violence Free Colorado
- Women’s Wilderness
- Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Denver
- International Rescue Committee Afghan Parolee Legal Resource Center (supporting Afghan evacuees who have been granted humanitarian parole)
- Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network