As announced at Rise of Meeting on July 3, this past week officials of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) visited with Asheville City and Buncombe County officials and citizens to explore opening a refugee resettlement center in this area. Some members of our Meeting attended an IRC presentation at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Asheville, where the officials were greeted by a large and supportive audience.
The IRC is a public/private partnership supported by Federal agencies as well as charitable foundations and many individual donors and volunteers. Its office in Atlanta, Ga., since opening in 1979, has resettled over 26,000 refugees from persecution and civil conflict from about 55 countries. Last year over 1,000 such clients were assisted with resettlement, cultural adaptation, housing, and employment in Georgia, coming from countries such as Myanmar, Bhutan, Congo, and Iraq.
The IRC hopes to submit a proposal, to the U.S. Department of State, to start resettlement operations in our area during the Federal fiscal year 2017. Individuals and organizations are invited to send letters of support of this endeavor, addressed to: Anne C. Richard, Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, U.S. Department of State, 2025 E Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20520. However, please mail your letter to the following local contact, who will aggregate these for IRC’s proposal: Mr. Bobby King, 235 Little Egypt Road, Brevard, N.C. 28712.
Much more information on the work of the IRC is available at this site: https://www.rescue.org/united-states/atlanta-ga