Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church is moving forward with an initiative to bring refugees to Jamestown.
Church Pastor Luke Fodor said Saint Luke’s took hold of the initiative following a meeting held last Fall to gauge interest in Jamestown becoming a resettlement community. He said after the start of the new year, he’s spoke with School Superintendent Dr. Kevin Whitaker to make sure the school district was willing to be on board, “And then we just started putting people together. Been meeting every other week. I discovered that we have a ringer in our community. My wife works at the Jamestown Community Learning Council with Beth (Litton) and she said, ‘Well, you know we have an employee who did refugee resettlement for seven years down in Nashville. Do you think she’d be helpful?’ I said, ‘Hell yeah!'”
Beth Litton said during the time she volunteered and then worked as a Refugee Clinic Manager at Siloam Health, the populations of people she worked with shifted a bit, “So, a lot of times it’s maybe a couple years out of a war or a conflict in a certain region that we’ll start to see families arriving from those countries. So, I worked with arrivals from Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Burma.. all over.”
Fodor said Saint Luke’s is working with refugee resettlement agency, Journey’s End, which is located in Buffalo, “The timeframe is still being negotiated because they are overwhelmed. We’re still working out many of the details as far as when we might start seeing some families coming down and who that would be. Initial conversations have talked about two families and then we would just kind of build this program out.”
You can hear the full interview with Pastor Luke Fodor and Jamestown Community Learning Council’s Beth Litton on Community Matters at 5pm this Thursday on WRFA.