ALBANY (WENY) – Gov. Kathy Hochul announced partnerships and resources to Help refugees resettle in New York State, including educational resources and temporary housing.
“We can meet the challenges of today and tomorrow with compassion, imagination, and grit, and there are vast resources across the State to give the Afghan evacuees a solid start here in the United States,” she said. “This is a call to action, to uphold our state’s proud history of sheltering evacuees from persecution and violence. The arduous journey that thousands of Afghans have taken over the last few weeks is not the end, but rather the beginning of a new chapter that we can help them write.”
The State University of New York will open its 10 Educational Opportunity Centers to refugees by waiving New York State’s one-year residency requirement for admission. All refugees are encouraged to apply for free courses and certifications to connect them to local job opportunities.
SUNY is partnering with the Rochester-based organization Keeping Our Promise to develop courses specific to supporting this refugee population, such as an English as a Second Language course tailored for Dari, Farsi and Pashto speakers.
The U.S. Department of State’s Afghan Placement and Assistance Program, the New York State Department of State’s Office for New Americans and the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance’s Bureau of Refugee Services will additionally collaborate to ensure each refugee’s skills, talents and backgrounds are assessed to support the beginning of their careers in New York.
As for housing, SUNY Buffalo State College has partnered with local agencies to temporarily reserve unused dorm space for up to 100 evacuees.
The campus will also provide any excess laptops on-site, and deliver additional computers for evacuees across the state to use in libraries, resettlement offices or other locations providing educational support.