AUSTIN, Texas — After months of waiting, an Afghan translator and his family are now in their own house in Georgetown.
The move is a dream come true for the U.S. citizen, who had congressional help getting his family out of Afghanistan when American troops withdrew in August.
The KVUE Defenders have been following the progress of Wali, who viewers helped in February with an outpouring of donations.
On the last day of March, volunteers with the First Presbyterian Church surprised Wali with a reveal of that home, but not before several of them labored to clean and stock the home with food, cleaning supplies, new bedding and towels, among other necessities.
Don Lovering and Milt Clark put beds together while Jane Comer stocked the kitchen.
"We saw all the refugees from Afghanistan, now we're seeing them from Ukraine, you know, those people need a safe place to be and live so they can thrive with their children," Comer said.
Volunteers, like Comer, usually set up apartments for refugees, not houses. They're hard to come by, especially affordable housing in Central Texas, but Clark made it his mission to find a house.
"We looked and looked and looked," Clark said.
It was Clark who posted a message on Nextdoor in February. He asked for help after seeing our story about Wali, who served alongside the Army as a translator in Afghanistan.
PHOTOS: Afghan interpreter's family gets new home
In August, his family nearly didn't make it as U.S. troops left and the Taliban took over. Congressman Lloyd Doggett had to intervene.
Wali and his family have not seen their new home until now. Wali was so stunned that he repeatedly said, "wow." He said he is grateful.
"I feel so blessed, nothing more. I feel so blessed. I don't have the words to describe how grateful I am for all the Texans, you know, Austinites that help, you know, I find a home and accepted it, welcomed us," Wali said.
Every room in the house is furnished, thanks to donations from the community. Wali's favorite is the artwork on the walls.
"These arts. I love it. You know, it's like the best is yet to come. You know, that's so true," Wali said.
Wali is leasing the home for a year.
More good news for Wali: He no longer drives for a rideshare company. In the last week of March, Wali got a job as a translator for a national nonprofit, helping refugees.
Wali wanted to remind the community that there are so many other refugees waiting for permanent housing, so please continue to donate.
To help the Refugee Services of Texas, click here. To help the First Presbyterian Church's Afghan Refugee Support Fund, click here.
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