BUTTE - In a world where more people are getting displaced in violent conflicts in Afghanistan or Ukraine, an organization in Butte wants to make the Mining City a safe haven for refugees.
“We have, right now, the capacity for 18 individuals, and we could get a phone call tomorrow or today saying that those 109 individuals are on their way,” said Daniel Hogan of Butte Heart.
The group Butte Heart was started by the Butte America Foundation in November to help refugees fleeing Afghanistan after the U.S. pullout. The group is prepared to also help refugees from Ukraine displaced by the Russian invasion.
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It has certainly been a challenge for Butte Heart.
“Housing in Butte is not cheap right now and also not readily available. We’ve been really blessed to have some property owners that want to set aside housing for this purpose,” said Hogan.
People interested in providing property or donating money can do so at the Butte America Foundation website.
“They watch the news and feel helpless, this is something you can do and be a part of, to give you a chance to really reach out and help people that are in their (most dire) moments,” he said.
With increased global conflicts, along with the climate crisis, those in the Butte America Foundation believe the problem with refugees will only get worse before they get better.
“As long as there are borders and nations, and big nations picking on little nations, and conflict around the world, there are innocent people caught in the crosshairs,” said Hogan.
According to the U.S. government, more than 70,000 refugees have come to the U.S. from Afghanistan, and they’re expecting 100,000 from Ukraine.