Afghan Placement and Assistance Program
Through a contract with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Catholic Social Services assists Afghan Evacuees with pre arrival and reception services, basic needs support, cultural orientation, language services, finding housing, employment, health care, and case management services.
Catholic Social Services welcomes volunteers and groups that are interested in providing financial, practical and social support to help theses families adjust to their new community and home. For more information, contact Amy Stoner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to donate towards helping this program, checks may be sent to
Archdiocese of Philadelphia
Attn: Amy Stoner
222 North 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Checks payable to Catholic Social Services
Please note on the check “Afghan Placement and Assistance program restricted”
Volunteers are needed who can:
- Open their homes for a family on a temporary basis until permanent housing can be secured.
- Donate toward the cost of a family’s temporary stay at a motel or hotel.
Register for Zoom training on how to be a sponsor for Afghans seeking protection in the United States
This training is for concerned community members of all backgrounds and will focus on how to complete a sponsorship form known as an I-134. Please note: there is a cap of 100 attendees, so log on early.
BACKGROUND: Pro bono immigration and trained lawyers in the Philadelphia region are trying to get as many people at risk out of Afghanistan by filing applications for Humanitarian Parole. Humanitarian Parole allows individuals to enter the U.S. legally. Many Afghans in the U.S. are requesting that their relatives receive “humanitarian parole” because they are at risk, either because they worked with the military, a U.S. funded program, an international program, the previous government or are targeted like women journalists. Everytime we file an application, the person requesting humanitarian parole for an applicant, or the applicant her/himself needs to fill out a sponsorship form. Because those seeking to have their relatives come to the U.S. have only themselves arrived recently and many are low income, they don’t have sufficient resources to fill out the form. We seek to identify individuals who will agree to be sponsors. It is, in a sense, a theoretical gesture. Although a sponsor completes a form called an I-134, the reality is there is not a high likelihood the individuals being sponsored will arrive anytime soon because they must get out of Afghanistan and they can’t. However, by completing a form, a person at risk in Afghanistan can bring themselves to the next level of approval. Also, while the form shows a sponsor could support an individual, it is a moral and not legal obligation. The family in the U.S. is likely to play a big role in assisting their relatives. Organizations, including congregations, can also be sponsors by sending letters without filling out the form, although the latter is preferable.
The Call of the Church to Stand in Solidarity with Newcomers – Immigrants and Refugees
Over my 46 years of priestly ministry, I have spent much time with immigrants and refugees. I have heard their stories, shared their struggles, and helped them to make a better life for their families here in our country, their new home. By and large, these are good, honest, hard-working and faith-filled people, who make up a significant and growing part of the Catholic population in our parishes across the region. The U.S. Catholic Bishops stand in solidarity with those fleeing violence and poverty in their homelands, and remind us of the Gospel call to welcome the newcomers among us. The Bishops acknowledge the legitimate role of government in enforcing our laws, but enforcement alone is not the answer. We need comprehensive immigration reform that includes wise immigration policies that respect due process, protect the human rights of all people, and values the unification and integrity of families. And we should be working with our neighbors across the border to address the root causes of migration that cause people to leave all and come here. I invite you to be in solidarity with these brothers and sisters of ours, to ENCOUNTER AND ACCOMPANY THEM, to meet them as people whose experiences might be different than yours, but whose hopes and aspirations for themselves and their families will be familiar to you – they are the same as what brought most of our immigrant ancestors here in the past. I challenge you to advocate for them in whatever way you can, using the gifts God has given you to Share the Journey with them. – Most Rev. Edward M. Deliman, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia
Will you stand with us in welcoming them? Contact us here to find out how you can help.