The Manhattan Area Resettlement Team has new big changes to help immigrants

Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 9:13 PM CDT
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MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) - The Manhattan Area Resettlement Team (MART) has some new changes coming.

After the collapse of Kabul following the U.S. withdrawal in 2021, tens of thousands of Afghan refugees began making their way to the U.S., many of them coming to Kansas.

“We began as a Manhattan Afghan Resettlement Team we quickly filed for 501C3 status as a nonprofit organization and this last year we transitioned to the Manhattan Area Resettlement Team. We now have contracts with the State of Kansas Office of Refugees and through that, we’re able to receive refugees from any country for whom Kansas has become a destination,” said Susan Adamchak,

The team recently bought the Damon Runyon house on Osage Street to base its headquarters. It was built by Damon’s father, who was a settler to the area, as MART hopes new migrants will feel welcome.

“Having the headquarters, having the location we’re making the commitment to the community as well to say we’re in this for the long hull. We want to make this a welcoming place and have people feel safe and know they are being greeted as a full-time member of our community and not a transient passing through,” said Adamchak.

The Manhattan Area Resettlement Team has helped 200 plus refugees as it has grown from an all-volunteer group into a full-time organization.

“What we have done over the last couple of years is really help our allies to settle into Manhattan so we’ve helped to facilitate health screenings, we’ve gotten all of the children enrolled in school, we’ve helped with the men to find employment and virtually all of the adults,” said Adamchak.

The team started a scholarship fund to cover the cost of classes, helping refugees unable to bring proper documents with them.

“We’re kicking off a capital campaign where we’ve settled close to 200 individuals and we like to try and raise $200,000 so that in addition to the state money that we receive or money from a resettlement agency like Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas we would have funds available to provide additional services that are not covered under those programs to be able to provide educational assistance for higher education,” said Adamchak.

The Resettlement Team will also expand its services to assist victims involved in international cases of human sex trafficking.