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N.H. Sees a Small Bump in New Refugees

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As of October 1st 2020, the International Institute of New England had only resettled five refugees. The organization says that is now starting to change.

New Hampshire is seeing a small increase in new refugee arrivals, following President Joe Biden’s raise to the national refugee cap in May, and the loosening of pandemic restrictions.

“So as of October 1st 2020, we had only resettled five and individuals and that is now starting to change,” Megan Clark, the community services manager with the International Institute of New England (IINE) said. IINE supports and resettles refugees.

“We welcomed a family of nine people last week, and we’ll be welcoming 7 more people in the coming few weeks," she said.

Clark said the largest population the organization is currently serving are from the Democratic Republic of Congo. IINE mostly resettles families in Nashua and Manchester, cities which managing director Henry Harris said are easier to navigate without a car than more rural parts of the state.

While finding housing in the state’s tight market presents a challenge for IINE, helping clients find employment is much easier. Employers are calling the organization and asking for workers. But fortunately, Harris and Clark say long-standing relationships with local landlords have been fruitful.

“From the day they arrive in New Hampshire, through the first several months, we’re working with them day in and day out really, to help them get Social Security cards, enroll in benefits if they’re eligible, get the kiddos in school, find employment opportunities. Really make sure they’re integrating into their new community well,” Clark said.

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