Afghan refugees are being provided with transitional housing at Notre Dame de Namur University’s Belmont Campus in San Mateo County, NDNU announced.
Up to 36 Afghan refugees, admitted to the U.S. through the Operation Allies Welcome program created by the Biden Administration during the withdrawal from Afghanistan last year, will live on the Belmont campus for up to three months as they transition into permanent housing.
NDNU said it is the first university on the West Coast to offer such a program. Other universities across the country have also offered housing to Afghan refugees, including the University of Maryland, the University of Tulsa, Colorado State University, Indiana University and Virginia Commonwealth University.
Every Campus A Refuge is a nonprofit program based out of Guilford College in North Carolina to facilitate university partnerships with local refugee resettlement agencies, and the International Rescue Committee is a global humanitarian aid, relief, and development organization founded by Albert Einstein.
Together, the three partners “will collaborate to offer vital resources, including housing, food, and social support to refugees as they navigate the resettlement process,” according to a news release from the university.
“As a Catholic university dedicated to our founding core principles of social justice, we are delighted to answer the call to act upon our stated values and advance our mission,” said NDNU President Beth Martin. “NDNU is committed to being a leader in values-based higher education and call on our peer institutions to join us in this important effort.”
The International Rescue Committee’s Oakland director Jordane Tofighi emphasized their support for the pilot program.
“Afghan refugees escaped unimaginably dangerous circumstances during last year’s evacuation. As they begin to rebuild their lives here in Northern California, the support of our community is essential. We are grateful to NDNU for welcoming them to campus,” Tofighi said.