Mayo Clinic grant to local charity provides housing for Afghan refugees in Northeast Florida

February 8, 2022

Housing can be a challenge for refugees who arrive in the United States with few or no resources. Mayo Clinic in Florida is supporting the housing needs of Afghan refugees in the community who were forced to flee their home country.

Mayo Clinic granted Lutheran Social Services of Northeast Florida $15,000 to help address the immediate needs that placement and lack of housing present. The organization anticipates this funding will provide temporary housing for about 40 Afghan families.

“It’s important to remember how precious human life is, and how we now have an opportunity to do something kind and generous for people who have lived through war, trauma, family separation, a homeland that once again is no longer safe for them, and now the struggle of adjusting to life in America,” says Rohan Goswami, M.D., a transplant cardiologist at Mayo Clinic in Florida. “These are some of the most wonderful, generous, kind people, and they deserve to be welcomed with open arms and open hearts.”

Dr. Goswami is leading the effort to provide support and collect items for refugees in Jacksonville, Florida.

Lutheran Social Services of Northeast Florida is among several organizations working to assist Afghan refugees who have arrived in Jacksonville. The organization estimates that 200 Afghan refugees are  living in the community. Since the beginning of 2022,  245 refugees have been placed in the community from other parts of the world.

“This generous grant is such a blessing to Lutheran Social Services because it meets our most pressing and immediate need: short-term, temporary housing while our staff arranges permanent housing for new arrivals,” says William Brim, president and CEO of Lutheran Social Services of Northeast Florida. “I am so grateful to Mayo Clinic for embracing Jacksonville’s long history of welcoming refugees.”

Lutheran Social Services of Northeast Florida has welcomed refugees to Jacksonville for more than 40 years. In addition to Lutheran Social Services, Catholic Charities  is also focused on aiding those who have immigrated to the “First Coast.”