Syrian refugees settling in Lancaster County

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Jun 23, 2015 4:02 AM
Syrian refugees 600 x 340.jpg

Photo by United Nations

(Lancaster) -- Lancaster County will soon be home to more refugees from the Middle East, as families from Syria will be getting some help making the transition.

About 60 Syrian refugees already live in Lancaster County, and another 60 are expected to re-settle there in the next year.

Church groups secure and furnish apartments for the families, who also get help in finding work and staying healthy.

English classes will be available, and kids will go to schools in the county.

Speaking on WITF's Smart Talk, Sheila Mastropietro with Church World Service in Lancaster also says counseling is an area of concern because many refugees have seen death and destruction in Syria.

"So it's difficult but we do what we can and we certainly have interpretation services. And we expect that some people are going to need at least some counseling in the beginning at least," she says.

Mastropietro says she expects the Syrians to find work quickly in a warehouse or factory.

She says English classes are also available.

"We don't expect many Syrians to be fluent in English, some may have a basic understanding, but not very many will understand English fluently. Some of the kids will not have been in school for these last three years, or even longer, even from Syria," she adds.

But she says more church groups are needed to help other families.

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