Lancaster, Pa. - For Syrian refugees arriving soon, a new kind of welcome center is opening in the city. And it'll also be a life line, to learn English, train for work, and have access to a health clinic.
The Refugee Center will open at Reynolds Middle School on October 7th.
"The Syrian refugees that are coming to this area are escaping extreme hardships," says community school liaison Joshua McManness. "They are coming ready to start a new life and become members of this community."
60 refugee families from Syria will be relocated to Lancaster through early next year. The first arrived back in June.
The center and the health clinic are open to everyone in the community. Staff will also be able to connect refugees with mental health services, which they may need after leaving their war-torn country.
"It's really empowering when you see children and parents start to understand more about the culture and the language and their excitement about being able to go to the grocery store or understand their teacher better," says McManness.
The center is funded through the United Way, the Rotary Club, and the Lancaster County Community Foundation. But the center also accepts donations, of money, uniforms and backpacks. They're also looking for volunteers.