Four refugee families will be resettling in the Reno-Sparks area this month under a new program between the U.S. State Department and a local nonprofit.
The Northern Nevada International Center is preparing to welcome the region's first group of refugees, two families from the Democratic Republic of Congo, on August 24.
The next family, from Syria, will come soon after. The goal of the center, as an official resettling agency, is to help at least 20 individuals displaced by violence and instability around the world by next month.
About 30 people attended a community meeting on Thursday to learn more about the program and what help is still needed.
Carina Black, the nonprofit's director, says they've lined up housing for the families, but still need donations of furniture, co-sponsors and volunteers. [Visit their website for more info.]
She emphasizes that the vetting these families undergo takes 18-24 months on average. Each family will receive cultural orientation and a host of other support services to help them in their transition.
The center plans to hold a town hall in September to field community questions and concerns about the process.