Phoenix commits $5.3 million for refugee, immigrant services

By Christina Estes
Published: Monday, January 2, 2023 - 1:13pm
Updated: Tuesday, January 3, 2023 - 9:19am

Syrian refugees learn English
Naomi Gingold/KJZZ
Syrian refugees learn English in a class in Phoenix in 2017.

Phoenix could provide more than $5 million in federal relief funds to support refugees and immigrants. It will be divided among four nonprofits to help with things like housing, employment, language classes, legal aid and medical case management. 

Councilwoman Yassamin Ansari hopes the council’s approval will show Phoenix is a welcoming, inclusive city for everyone.

“I think about how my parents came to the U.S. around 43 years ago and were able to build a wonderful life, very much because of organizations like this and partnerships like this," she said.

Ansari’s parents emigrated from Iran.

“We have a large population of refugees in Phoenix and many refugees who have arrived over the past year and a half, especially most recently from Afghanistan and these services are more important than ever,” she said.

As part of the agreement with Phoenix these groups will be eligible for funding:

  • International Rescue Committee — $2.3 million.
  • Arizona Immigration and Refugees Services — $1 million.
  • Catholic Charities Community Services — $1 million.
  • Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest — $1 million.

The contracts will run through December 2024. The money comes from Phoenix’s allocation of the American Rescue Plan Act.

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