The State Department today approved Indianapolis-based Exodus Refugee Immigration’s request to start resettling refugees in Bloomington.
Additional resettlement sites are needed as the country prepares to take in more refugees. President Obama announced earlier this year he wants to increase the number of refugees coming into the United States from 85,000 during the current fiscal year to 110,000 for fiscal year 2017, which starts Oct. 1.
In addition to resettling families in Indianapolis, Exodus says it will send some refugees to Bloomington.
“We’ll expect to resettle about 60 refugees roughly starting late winter, early spring of 2017,” says Exodus Executive Director Cole Varga.
Those refugees will likely come from Syria or the Democratic Republic of Congo. The community formed the Bloomington Refugee Support Network to brainstorm ways to help refugees transition to their new homes.
“I think that Bloomington is a really good site for refugees to be coming into,” Varga says. “We have, of course, Indiana University with all the international students, the professors, the beautiful campus, the beautiful city. We have some public transportation setup there. We have a really diverse city that is welcoming to everyone already.”
Varga says they’ve resettled about 140 Syrian refugees in the past two years.