MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) – Leaders in the Manhattan area are coming together to plan for refugee resettlement in the Little Apple. The Afghan Resettlement Team is meeting for the first time Tuesday via Zoom.
Manhattan City Commissioner Aaron Estabrook is one of the co-leaders of the team. He said he’s heard from around 20 folks that plan to resettle in Manhattan, but the final number could be 70 to 100.
“It may not materialize or it may be more,” Estabrook said. “The only thing that we can do is try to plan and make sure that it’s not a further humanitarian issue once people arrive at our doorstep.”
Estabrook is leading the team with Fatima Jaghoori, a U.S. Army Veteran and Afghan-American currently studying at K-State. The rest of the team includes people from:
- Riley County EMS
- Riley County Health Department
- FIT Closet
- Konza Prairie Community Health
- Manhattan Emergency Shelter
- Kansas Department for Children & Families
- Manhattan Housing Authority
- Housing MHK
- Manhattan Christian College
- Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce
- USD 383 ESOL
- Flint Hills Area Transportation Agency (aTa)
- Islamic Center of Manhattan
- Everybody Counts MHK
Senator Jerry Moran’s Office and Kansas State University are also listed on the team as regional leader organizations. Estabrook said the list of team members could grow as the team identifies things refugees will need when they arrive in the Little Apple.
“What parts are we able to cover of what it might take to resettle completely with nothing, with just the shirt on your back, arriving in the Manhattan Airport,” Estabrook said. “What does it take to resettle in our community and do it in a safe way.”
Estabrook said it could be several weeks before refugees go through the resettlement process and arrive in Manhattan.