International Center of Kentucky faces housing issue, trying to find homes for Afghan Refugees

International Center Faces Housing Issues Trying to Find Homes for Afghan Refugees
Published: Nov. 17, 2021 at 9:26 PM EST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Since the arrival of some Afghan refugees in Bowling Green, one of the biggest problems for the International Center of Kentucky has been housing.

“What our major issue is right now, with the Afghans coming in is housing. We have received almost 90 refugees from Afghanistan and we have been pleasantly surprised with the support we’ve gotten from the community,” says Albert Mbanfu, the executive director at the International Center of Kentucky.

“Many of the landlords we talked to, they want to get the social security, they want to know if they have IDs, etc. and these are things that many of them that come in do not have, they are still new. It’s true that they will get their documents within a short period of time, but as they come in, they don’t have,” adds Mbanfu.

MBanfu says there should be a compromise where every part benefits.

“What I’m appealing is if the landlord’s want us as an agency to stand like a guarantor for the refugees coming in, we are willing to do that, and we can assure them that our staff will work to make sure that their rents are paid on time and that we will take that responsibility.” -- Albert Mbanfu

Mbanfu says it is important to note that refugees being resettled in Bowling Green adds more to the economy since there are a lot of job openings in Vette City.

“Our biggest need is housing because if for any reason, we cannot find housing, and we have to send these people somewhere else, that will be a potential level that we’re sending out of the city, which is unfortunate, which is something I don’t want because I know the contribution of this individuals,” explained Mbanfu.

MBanfu says many of the Afghan allies as he likes to call them are happy living here.

“They are pretty comfortable being in Bowling Green and one thing we did when they came was to start matching them with mentors. These people will be more of an asset than a liability,” he adds.

Mbanfu also asks for any gloves, coats, blankets anyone wants to donate to the Afghan refugees they can be dropped off at the center on Kenton Street, or call them at (270) 781-8336 to pick them up.

He says if anyone has gently used furniture to call the center to schedule a pick-up.

For more information on the International Center of Kentucky or to donate, click here.

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