By Cryss Walker

(CBS DETROIT) – A local nonprofit is working to build a coalition for refugees looking to call America home.

Samaritas joins corporate, civic and community leaders to launch the Detroit Refugee Network.

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“Three resettlement agencies including Samaritas, the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, and Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan, said Samaritas Chief Advancement Officer Kelli Dobner.

The program will help refugees get a fresh start with housing, employment, health care and other services.

“The focus is really on immediate placement and affordable housing on the road to homeownership,” Dobner said.

Since last year, more than 650 Afghan refugees have resettled in Southeastern Michigan, and 250 are in Detroit.

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“Seventy-five percent of our families become self-sufficient within 180 days of coming into our care and that is really through the power of such a network as the Detroit Refugee Network,” Dobner said.

The organization is now making plans to welcome Ukrainian refugees in the next few weeks.

“We don’t know the numbers that we will be expecting into our care,” Dobner said.

“We have been in regular and frequent communication with our federal partners as the situation has unfolded and continues to unfold i should say and so we’re building our infrastructure.”

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