LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Most refugees come to Louisville with few belongings, let alone furniture for a home. That's why Kentucky Refugee Ministries and SOS are gathering furniture to help refugees get settled.

What You Need To Know

  • Kentucky Refugee Ministries (KRM) is one of two non-profits helping refugees settle in Louisville

  • Kentucky is ranked 5th nationally in the number of refugees arriving, according to Catholic Charities

  • SOS is donating furniture for future refugee housing 

Refugees entering this country often arrive with little more than a few personal belongings so organizations like Kentucky Refugee Ministries and Catholic Charities make it their mission to help arriving refugees find homes and other resources.

Portia Watson said as refugees arrive to Louisville, they’re assigned a case worker and a place to stay. Watson is a former KRM employee but now works for SOS, a Louisville non-profit known mainly for shipping surplus medical supplies overseas.

But in this instance, they're donating furniture for refugee housing.

"Once in a while we get items that are not necessarily medical that we can’t necessarily donate abroad," Watson explained. “So they need things like this. They need chairs. They need to provide places where people can sit when they arrive, tables and desks and things like that."

Raydel Diago stops by SOS to collect donated furniture for refugee housing (Spectrum News 1/Jonathon Gregg)

Representatives of KRM visited the SOS headquarters in Louisville Friday to pick up an entire room full of chairs, tables and other items for future housing.

“I am also a refugee too," Raydel Diago tells Spectrum News 1.

Diago has been working with KRM for a few months but has already benefited greatly from organizations of the like. Diago is a refugee from Cuba and said supporting the KRM mission is the least he can do.

“It’s my way to give help to other people like me. Refugees, from any country, you know?" Diago said. "The arrival is increasing so we always need to renew the inventory, so it’s good...It’s important because some of them come here with nothing."

"Otherwise this furniture, we would sell it at a yard sale or something or we would get rid of it. So, it would otherwise it would go to waste," Watson said. "We've just got to ind a place in the community that needs it, where it needs to go."

Editor's note:  A previous version of this story misidentified Raydel Diago as Raydel Diego.  We have corrected the misspelling of the name and apologize for the error.