Eight-hundred-forty refugees are anticipated to return to Maine within the fiscal yr 2024, in accordance with the Workplace of Maine Refugee Providers.
That’s double the quantity from 2023 when the state obtained virtually 420 refugees. Refugee service teams say they’re scrambling to organize as finest as they will.
Rilwan Osman, the manager director of the Maine Immigrant and Refugee Providers in Lewiston, says that is what his group is all about: welcoming refugees with open arms.
“We’re ready to welcome new refugees into our state,” Osman mentioned.
Three resettlement teams are splitting the incoming refugees. Catholic Charities of Maine in Portland will take about 500. The Jewish Group Alliance in Portland will take about 140.
Osman mentioned Maine Immigrant and Refugee Providers will get round 200 refugees.
“It’s not going to be straightforward,” Bonnie Titcomb Lewis, Maine Immigrant and Refugee Providers’ director of housing mentioned. “We now have households of eight, households of 9.”
With extra refugees they’ll want extra housing, she mentioned.
The group is scrambling to attach with extra landlords, but when they don’t have sufficient housing obtainable, Titcomb Lewis mentioned refugees shall be put in lodges.
“Each night time that you’ve a household in a lodge, now we have to be accountable for that price,” Titcomb Lewis mentioned.
Titcomb Lewis mentioned the group will want extra volunteers to assist choose up refugees from the airport and join them with housing and jobs.
They’ll additionally want extra donations to assist refugees furnish flats.
“There’s a listing now we have to go by. We are able to’t miss that fireplace extinguisher. You must have smoke alarms. You must have clear bedding and new pillows,” Titcomb Lewis mentioned.
Refugee service organizations say Maine is getting among the many smallest variety of refugees in comparison with different states, although Maine additionally has one of many smallest state populations.