Thursday, May 19, 2022


U.S. mayors train to fend off increased threats and harassment, the Illinois governor signs a ban on 'Ghost Guns,' and death anxiety could play a role in Vladimir Putin's Ukraine invasion.


The White House asks Congress for more pandemic support, the House passes a domestic terrorism bill, Kansas' Supreme Court upholds a new congressional map, and a House committee hears testimony on abortion access.


From off-Broadway to West Virginia: the stories of the deadly Upper Big Branch mine explosion, baby formula is on its way back to grocery shelves, and federal funds will combat consolidation in meatpacking.

"Help a Brother Out" – FL Groups Rally to Resettle Afghan Refugees


Friday, September 3, 2021   

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Organizations providing relief support for Afghan refugees say more people can help by simply taking time to learn about the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

Groups like Catholic Charities Jacksonville are preparing to handle a surge of over 150 Afghan refugees, who'll need basics like food, housing and jobs as they begin their new lives in the community in the next few months.

Matt Schmitt, associate director for the group, said at the same time, he has been trying to help clear up some misunderstandings that stem, in part, from the name of the effort: the Afghan Parolee Support Program.

"People are worried that the refugees that are coming from Afghanistan are a security threat," Schmitt explained. "They're concerned that the term 'parolee,' by the way, it sounds like someone who's been released from jail or from prison, and that is the farthest from the truth."

Schmitt explained the terms are used by the federal government as subcategories for refugees, such as someone on a Special Immigrant Visa, a 'parolee' or 'asylee,' and they have no connection to the criminal justice system. He added all refugees will be completely vetted through the U.S. State Department before being sent to resettlement areas like Jacksonville.

Schmitt urged people to do more research, by visiting his organization's website or searching online for the Office of Refugee Resettlement, Department of State, and other sources to keep up with what's going on.

"And then after that, feel free to get involved," Schmitt emphasized. "We're doing humanitarian work. If you were in this situation, wouldn't you like to have someone reach out, you know? It's 'help a brother out,' that's what I've been saying lately, help a brother out."

Schmitt pointed out the Catholic Charities of Jacksonville website has information about how to help. They need gently used furniture and household items. People can also volunteer their time, or donate money and specify that it go directly to resettlement efforts.

The State Department named Jacksonville among the top 19 "welcoming cities" for refugees, but organizations in other parts of the state also are gearing up to help with resettlement.

get more stories like this via email
The Nature Coast Aquatic Preserve along with the Big Bend Seagrasses, St. Martins Marsh Aquatic Preserves and the Pinellas County Aquatic Preserve together protect the largest contiguous seagrass meadow in the Gulf of Mexico and the largest spring-fed seagrass habitat in the world. (Charlie Shoemaker for The Pew Charitable Trusts)


This afternoon, members of the public will get to have a say on the management plan for the first new aquatic preserve created in Florida in 32 years…

Social Issues

May is Community Action Month, and local agencies helping low-income families hope Congress signs off on a plan to bolster and modernize their …


After two decades of drought and with no relief in sight, many Utahns are looking for ways to conserve water, and for many residents, part of the …

As many as 80% of the homes lost to wildland fires could have been saved if their owners had followed a few simple fire-safe practices. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

May is Wildfire Awareness Month, and state officials are encouraging Coloradans to get up to speed on prevention and emergency-exit strategies if …

Social Issues

The White House is fielding pitches from top Democratic lawmakers about their desire to dramatically expand student loan forgiveness. While a …

Beyond school counselors, parents and private providers, mental-health advocates urge faith-based and other community groups to provide safe spaces for kids dealing with stress and anxiety. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

As the school year winds down, education leaders are shedding light on increased mental-health demands among students, including thoughts of suicide…

Social Issues

A new report found dishonest employers steal from some 213,000 people in Ohio each year by paying them less than the minimum wage; and it is just one …

Social Issues

Illinois has a new law banning the sale and possession of "ghost guns," essentially untraceable firearms that are sold in kit-form online or at gun sh…


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021