Refugees in Tukwila demand help with housing, healthcare and job services

After spending months sleeping in camps outside a church, they’re calling on the government to fund better temporary shelter and permanent housing. More Videos Next up in 5 Friends of Youth relocates, expands homeless shelter serving young adults in King County NBA Fantasy Basketball: Wednesday’s 10-Game Lookahead with Goga Bitadze #NBA #fantasybasketball Let’s Make a Deal: Guardians Trade Targets and Deals with the NL (L)East A blanket is born: go inside a historic Pendleton wool mill TUKWILA, Wash. — A group of refugees who had been sheltering outside a church in Tukwila called a news conference Friday to decry conditions in the camp and call for the state, federal government and county to fund better temporary shelter and permanent housing, along with providing healthcare, work permits, job services and immigration attorneys. The group, Hands United for Solidarity, was joined by advocates from the International Migrants Alliance. For over a year, the Riverton Park United Methodist Church has allowed people to sleep inside and outside. Pastor Jan Bolerjack says it started when police officers asked if she could help a family who had been sleeping outside. Word spread and the number of people sheltering there grew, with aid offered based on community donations and volunteers. But as cold temperatures descended during the fall and winter months, refugees at the news conference say they suffered the weather while sleeping outside, along with illnesses, poor conditions, bugs, a lack of healthcare and no end in sight. The church raised money to put them in hotels during this stretch of dangerous temperatures, but the group says they refuse to return to the camp, claiming it’s unsafe and unsanitary. “With the extreme cold, we were brought here to better conditions, but now they want to put us back in those conditions that were not […]

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By Donato