HASTINGS – Mayor Corey Stutte sent a letter to Governor Pete Ricketts this week requesting that the State of Nebraska and City of Hastings explore options on assisting with the resettlement of Afghan refugees. He said that while the state and city don’t play a direct role in the evacuation of US citizens and Afghan partners, he believes that they can play a role in welcoming those partners and their families to the United States of America.
He cited that the state-owned and operated Hastings Regional Center, which has a number of vacant buildings, has dozens of secure bedrooms, offices, kitchen, bathrooms, and dining areas that were in use until March of this year. Although the building Stutte referenced is planning on being demolished, he believes that it can be back up and running quickly. Stutte believes it would also help the city and state with workforce shortages.
He’s hoping to work with the Department of Health and Human Services, Senators Deb Fischer and Ben Sasse, State Senator Steve Halloran, Congressman Adrian Smith and other federal agencies to find a way to help the refugees transition their lives and become a part of the community in Hastings and other communities in the state.
The full letter can be found on Mayor Stutte’s Facebook page.