Welcoming Afghans to Washington State



Since 1975, Washington has welcomed nearly 150,000 refugees from 70 different countries. These remarkable individuals have contributed significantly to Washington’s economy and culture; they and their descendants are now inextricably connected with our future prosperity … I am heartened by the news that Washington will have another opportunity to reaffirm its commitment to embrace those in need.
Governor Jay Inslee
August 26, 2021



Note: Washington state is receiving updated information from the federal government on a weekly basis regarding Afghan resettlement. To help provide the most accurate information, DSHS will update these web pages regularly.

The State of Washington and our community partners are gearing up to support Afghan arrivals and welcome them into our beautiful and diverse state through the United States government-initiated Operation Allies Refuge. Since 1979, Washington state has been welcoming refugees who flee persecution in their home country to rebuild their lives in our local communities. Today, Washington continues to be a welcoming place and is preparing to support those individuals and families arriving from Afghanistan. As we welcome our newest neighbors, we will continue to promote economic and social well-being for all people in our state and look forward to a Washington without poverty and injustice.

Welcoming refugees to our local communities takes a collective effort. The DSHS Office of Refugee and Immigrant Assistance has been working for decades with local refugee resettlement agencies and community-based organizations to provide support services to welcome refugees from more than 70 different nations. Today, we are partnering with the Muslim Association of Puget Sound – American Muslim Empowerment Network, better known as MAPS-AMEN, and building relationships with Afghan Americans and community-based organizations that work to welcome Afghan refugees. We are working to ensure that Afghan arrivals receive help through resettlement, access to public benefits and supportive services through our many partners.

We know that the people of Washington want to lend a helping hand during this moment of crisis. There are many ways to be a part of this important effort to care for our new friends, families and neighbors.

Host an Afghan refugee: Washington has partnered with Airbnb Open Home initiative. Open Homes hosts go through the Airbnb platform to provide free, temporary housing to folks in need as they resettle into their new communities. Hosts have full control over when and who they can accept, and would work with a local refugee resettlement agency staff member around specific housing requests before making the decision whether or not to accept. Please sign up to host at home through Airbnb.org.  

On Tues, Dec. 7, DSHS and Airbnb.org hosted a webinar session to provide information to potential host homes. If you were unable to attend the webinar, please take the time to view this recording

We hope you find the following pages on resettlement, public benefits, and supportive services useful in your efforts. Please check out the Washington State Department of Health’s website on Afghan Health Resources as well.


Join us in welcoming our new Afghan neighbors by downloading a welcome sign to share digitally or print and display:  8.5" x 11 or  11 x 17.  

Download "This is Home" welcome booklets in Dari and Pashto.

Who are our community partners?



More Info and How to Help

Afghan American Cultural Association

AACA logo

  • Cultural Integration
  • Education and driving assistance
  • School enrollment


Afghan Health Initiative

Health Initiative



  • Cultural and Community Integration
  • Community Champions
  • Women and Family Programs
  • Health and Wellness
  • Economic Empowerment





Diocese of Olympia

Refugee Resettlement Office

Refugee ResettlementRefugee Resettlement image 2


  • Resettlement Services
  • Case Management
  • Employment/ESL
  • Small Business Development





International Rescue Committee

IRC logo

  • Resettlement Services
  • Case Management
  • Employment/ESL
  • School/Youth Mentoring
  • Immigration and Naturalization Services


IRC’s Welcome to Washington Fund


Welcome Kit Amazon Wish List

Jewish Family Services

Jewish Family


  • Resettlement Services
  • Case Management
  • Employment/ESL
  • Women’s Empowerment






Amazon Wish List

Kits for Peace/Essentials First

Kits for Peace


  • Welcome Kits
  • Hygiene Kits



Lutheran Community Services Northwest


Lutheran Community Services

  • Resettlement Services
  • Case Management
  • Unaccompanied Refugee Minors
  • Immigration and Naturalization Services
  • Services for Asylees
  • Refugee Elders Program








Become a foster parent.





  • Coordination Partner with DSHS
  • Coordination with Counties and Ports
  • Fundraising
  • Volunteer Coordination
  • Outreach and Advocacy
  • Welcome Signs and Materials





Muslim Community Resource Center

Muslim Community Resource


  • Health Clinic
  • Emergency Rental Assistance
  • Utility Help
  • Food Assistance
  • Furniture Warehouse
  • Medical Clinic
  • Funeral Services



Refugee and Immigrant Services Northwest

Refugee and Immigrant Services


  • Case Management
  • Employment/ESL
  • Immigration and Naturalization Services





Refugee Women’s Alliance

ReWA-Blog logo


  • Case Management
  • Employment/ESL
  • Immigration and Naturalization Services




SCM Medical Missions



SCM Medical Missions




  • Donated Goods
  • Clothing Drives and Clothing “Store”



World Relief

World Relief


  • Resettlement Services
  • Case Management
  • Employment/ESL
  • School/Youth Mentoring
  • Immigration and Naturalization Services








If you are a provider, please see the SmartSheet request form.