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Claremont School of Theology welcomes, houses refugees

Nov. 30, 2021 | CST

When US troops withdrew from Afghanistan at the end of August, a local nonprofit began to search for temporary housing for refugees headed for the San Gabriel Valley. The major immediate need is always temporary housing. “That’s the biggest hurdle for new arrivals,” says Anne Thorward, vice president of the board of the Newcomers Access Center (NAC), a local non-profit that helps refugees and immigrants settle in and adapt to a new and different culture.

Enter Claremont School of Theology (CST). When the school was approached to meet that need, CST quickly offered two apartments for temporary refugee housing, along with a building for the Newcomers Access Center to use as its new office. 

Montassar Laouini, CST director of facilities, physical plant, and campus housing, is happy about what CST is making possible, “Working with Anne and her team has been a joy. Their enthusiasm for their work is contagious, and as I learned more about Newcomers Access Center, I knew there were other ways we could help. In addition to temporary housing, we were also able to offer NAC usage of additional space for meetings, counseling, English classes, etc. It’s a great partnership and important work, and I’m grateful CST had resources to help our community and to help the refugees get settled.”

President Kuan shared, “We are honored to help and to play a small part in assisting people who have been through so much to find the resources they need to flourish in a new land.”