CHARLOTTE, N.C. – An Afghan refugee family is settling in after finally arriving in Charlotte following a months-long journey from Afghanistan to the United States.
Hamid, his wife and two sons were greeted by a group of former Afghan interpreters and U.S. military veterans at Charlotte Douglas International Airport on Tuesday.
The family left everything behind after narrowly escaping Afghanistan hours before a terrorist attack in August killed over a dozen people at the airport in Kabul.
All they have with them are the clothes on their backs and a suitcase filled with donated supplies given to them during their stay at a military base outside Washington, D.C.
Hamid and his family are staying at a two-bedroom Airbnb in west Charlotte for at least two weeks as they continue to look for a permanent place to call home.
U.S. Army veteran Sean Kilbane and members of Interpreting Freedom Foundation, a nonprofit in Charlotte, have searched over 70 properties for Hamid and his family. Kilbane says they haven’t found a landlord willing to rent to them.
Hamid doesn’t have a credit score or a job. Kilbane says many affordable housing communities in Charlotte will not take a co-signer, which they’re willing to do for them.
“I’m worried about being homeless,” Hamid said.
Hamid also worries about his parents and brothers who are still in Afghanistan as the Taliban continues to target those who helped U.S. troops during the war.
“If you run away … they take your father, they take your brothers,” Hamid said. “And they do some bad things with them.”
As they settle into life in North Carolina, Hamid says he’s hopeful about his family’s new beginnings in America.
“I just want to start a good life here,” Hamid said.
A welcome home celebration is planned for Hamid and his family on Saturday at 11:30 a.m.
The event is being held at Freedom Park in Charlotte and is open to the public.
To learn more about how to help Hamid and his family find affordable housing in Charlotte, visit Interpreting Freedom Foundation's website.