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Buffalo State College to house up to 100 Afghan refugees in dorms

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Posted at 3:39 PM, Oct 15, 2021

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Buffalo State College will be housing up to 100 Afghan refugees on a temporary basis.

With enrollment down, Buffalo State College is left with dozens of empty dorm rooms.

"We have seen a downturn in enrollment like most higher education due to the wonderful pandemic that we’re all navigating through," Katherine Conway-Turner, President of Buffalo State College, said.

She said it's a sharp contrast from what the school experienced three or four years ago.

"We were really struggling. We had students coming out of our ears. There was so much requests for student housing. But things change over time, so we have seen an enrollment decrease and people making a choice to live off campus," Conway-Turner said.

Instead of letting the dorm rooms sit empty, Buffalo State College agreed to temporarily house up to 100 Afghan refugees.

"I think it’s a great idea to like help people that don’t have a place to stay and it’s a great experience for everybody to experience," Mustapha Darboe, a freshman at Buffalo State College, said.

Catholic Charities, the International Institute, Jericho Road Community Health Center, Jewish Family Services, and Journey's End Refugee Services will all be partnering to assist the refugees when they arrive in Buffalo,

"The way the agencies have come together to support these individuals coming to Buffalo, and the way the community is really trying to do all we can do, really just says we are the City of Good Neighbors," Conway-Turner said.

It's something students said makes them proud.

"I feel like it’s actually a good thing just helping others out as they need," Darboe said.

There is no word as to when the refugees will arrive.