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Thousands Of Afghan Refugees Flee Kabul, Hundreds Land In Sacramento

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — California is projected to take in more Afghan families—all fleeing the dangerous situation in Kabul—than any other state.

The Department of State says more than 5,200 people will land in California, and that's just the first phase of evacuations.

Amitis Pourarian said from floor to ceiling, The Studio Martial Arts and Fitness is filled with donations for Afghani Refugees.

"In just one day, half of this lobby was covered," she said.

The Studio is working with Starting Point, a nonprofit delivering basic housing essentials to refugee families.

The cause is near to Pourarian, who immigrated from Iran at five years old immediately after the Iranian Revolution.

"We came here with nearly nothing," she said.

Just like the hundreds of Afghani refugees who have started fresh here since August, many who are fleeing Taliban rule in Kabul and joining the thousands of Afghani refugees already in Sacramento.

"I hope every Afghan, when they come here, they have a good life here," said Hasebulllah in Sacramento.

He moved here with his mom and sister five years ago and says starting with nothing, learning a new language and finding work is daunting.

"I wish I knew how to work here, where to work, how to get an apartment, how to get my license and everything," he said.

Sacramento is still facing a housing shortage as more evacuees land in town every day.

"They're in a difficult situation they're arriving in a city that has a very low housing capacity due to people being evacuated from wildfire," said Kerry Ham with the World Relief Organization.

He says many are staying in temporary housing like hotels, or with host families, waiting for a permanent solution.

"They left without anything but the clothes on their back, so they're in a startup situation in everything that implies: housing, food employment and even enrolling their children in school," he said.

Ham says they expect 1,700 refugees in Sacramento, all of who have fled Taliban rule since August, by the end of the month.

World Relief is asking for housing voucher donations.

The Studio will be collecting winter coats for families and will be asking for donations for grocery card donations.

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