NORTHGLENN, Colo. (KDVR) — Outside the Metropolitan Denver North Islamic Center, the smiles were tough to miss.
Dozens of young Afghan evacuees getting their first taste of cotton candy, at a resource fair welcoming them to the country.
In total, 865 Afghan evacuees will be resettling in Colorado, according to numbers released by the White House.
Many began arriving this week, with nothing more than the clothes on their backs.
“I’m very happy here. I have quite a bit of family and friends that are here, so that makes me feel a little bit more comfortable,” said one man through a translator.
Everyone over the age of 12 is required to get a COVID vaccine as part of their entry into the country, so those were given out at the resource fair as well.
“Obviously, we’re only getting them the basics that they need right now,” said Ayesha Ansari. “They’re going to need long-term assistance with housing, they’re going to need long-term transportation, they’re going to need jobs to support their families, navigating school supplies.”
Many of the evacuees are receiving housing through nonprofits like the International Rescue Committee.
Each family has been assigned a case worker to help with the transition.