Bridge Refugee Services prepares to possibly resettle Afghan allies in Chattanooga area

Staff Photo by Matt Hamilton / Kelsey Brown sorts through donations on Friday, Sept. 3, 2021. Bridge Refugee Services helps refugees rebuild their lives as they join the Chattanooga community.

As chaotic scenes from Afghanistan unfolded on TV in the past few weeks, Marina Peshterianu, associate director of Bridge Refugees Services, felt certain she would be helping to resettle Afghan refugees in Chattanooga in the near future.

It's all just a matter of when and how.

While there is no set timeline, Bridge has kept its State Department contracted agency, Episcopal Migration Ministries, up to date with what resources are available in the area. The organization is now awaiting further instruction from the government on how to best proceed following the unprecedented evacuation of Americans and Afghan allies at the conclusion of the 20-year war.

"We wait, just like everybody else, for the big government decisions [on] how to do it right," Peshterianu said. "Our allies are running from definite death and very strong and growing persecution, there is no doubt in my mind.