RALEIGH, N.C. — An organization in the Triangle known as “Welcome House Raleigh” is preparing to do what it does best, welcome refugees with open arms.
What You Need To Know
Welcome House Raleigh works with agencies in the Triangle to offer temporary housing for refugees
They are bracing for an influx of hundreds of Afghan refugees
Landlords have offered their properties as temporary housing and Welcome House Raleigh has raised more than $30,000
The organization works with four agencies to provide temporary housing for refugees. Best-case scenario, agencies will line up housing for refugees before they get here, but sometimes, like with the current situation in Afghanistan, refugees arrive before housing is even lined up. That’s where Welcome House Raleigh steps in.
Ashley Glimasinski manages the house, preparing it for each new arrival.
“When they are new there is a lot of culture shock. They don’t know what’s going on,” Glimasinski said. “They don’t speak the language, and it’s easy to just be like, ‘I can’t do this.’”
“We just provide community and peace and refuge while they’re trying to get settled in their new lives in the U.S.,” Glimasinski said.
They provide a bed with fresh sheets, hot showers and homecooked meals.
“When someone comes here, if they don’t have any of those things. If they don’t have a place to stay, they don’t have food. Their agency will help them with that, but most importantly, they need love and connection. They need to know that someone is caring for them,” Glimasinski said.
She’s often that “someone” and comforts those who have been through the unimaginable.
In the midst of so much uncertainty, this is a safe haven.
“They are just joyous to be here. They are so happy. They feel like they’re finally safe, that they are finally in a place where they can breathe, where they can make a home that’s going to last. It’s not going to be torn apart the next day by whatever comes along,” Glimasinski said.
It’s a chance to reclaim what “home” is and means.
“They’re maybe coming with empty hands but their hearts and their heads are full of things that we could never experience, and they already have so much to teach us and so much to share with us,” Glimasinski said.
Marc Wyatt, the founder of Welcome House Raleigh, says their partners are bracing for hundreds of Afghan refugees. Wyatt says some refugees arrived and were actually able to meet up with a family member who arrived in the state as a refugee five years ago and is now a U.S. citizen.
Wyatt says they’ve had some landlords step up to offer their properties for temporary housing, and they’ve collected more than $30,000 in donations.
For information on donations or volunteering, visit Welcome House Raleigh’s website.