The City of Erie is receiving a new $100,000 grant to support the city’s mission to welcome Afghan refugees.

One local agency, formerly known as the International Institute and now called the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, will receive some of this funding.

“The money is meant to broaden volunteer bases and provide support to the Afghans who have come into the community to look at that. Both agencies are using it a little bit differently, but volunteer is really the thrust of it and what we are looking to do,” said Dylanna Grasinger, U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants Director.

Catholic Charities of Erie will also receive some of this funding to help the agency welcome more refugees.

Grasinger said the two agencies have resettled hundreds of immigrants in the last five months. She said these funds are a huge relief and the agency has a few next steps.

“Expand with landlords and local employers and really, kind of, make sure that we have those safety nets to make Erie a long-term, welcoming community,” Grasinger said.

Niken Astari Carpenter, New American Liaison for the City of Erie, said this funding will further Erie’s commitment to help immigrants and refugees resettle.

“Now, we have the Afghans coming here, so it’s part of the city’s vision for Erie. The first line is that Erie welcomes rich, cultural diversity here. We want everyone here to feel welcome,” said NIken Astari Carpenter, New American Liaison for the City of Erie.

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Between the two agencies, it is estimated that about 500 Afghan refugees have resettled in Erie in the last six months.