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New warehouse expands IRC Utah's operations

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Community partnerships contribute to many of the services the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Salt Lake City provides. Local community partners support efforts to welcome refugee and new American families as they work to positively integrate into life in Utah. Through partnerships—from individuals to foundations and corporations—the IRC in Salt Lake City builds resources used as direct assistance for the people served, including volunteer time, supply donations, financial contributions, and support of expanded operational capacity. In late 2021, Price Real Estate gifted a 4,400 square foot warehouse space to the IRC in Salt Lake City for a year of use.   

shelving with boxes stored, pallets of bounty paper towels, winter coat racks, and cleaning supply shelving in a warehouse.

The Warehouse space holds much-needed donations such as hygiene items, cleaning supplies, warm coats, and larger furniture / household items!

Photo: Mikaela Herman

The warehouse lease came at a critical point in the IRC’s emergency response efforts, allowing the IRC in Salt Lake City to immediately receive a generous gift of dining furniture from Overstock.com that included over 180 dining tables, 825 dining chairs, and over 180 décor items for the dining room. The dining furniture was intended to support all Afghan families arriving to Utah, served by both the IRC in Salt Lake City and Catholic Community Services.  

J. Steve Price, Founder and President of Price Real Estate, learned of the needs of incoming Afghan evacuees and the organizations that supported them in the early fall of 2021, “Mid-September, 2021, Miles Hansen, president and CEO of the World Trade Center Utah, shared news of Afghan refugees en-route to Utah. This personally struck a chord, as my father was a refugee from Germany and a Holocaust survivor, and my youngest daughter was orphaned due to China’s one-child policy.” Before their meeting with the World Trade Center Utah, the Price Real Estate team was not aware of the work the IRC had been doing to support arrivals coming to the United States from Afghanistan under humanitarian parolee status. However, they knew immediately it was something they wanted to support, especially as a warehouse space was available for emergency use.   

The team at Price Real Estate quickly worked together to make this donation work: “When I was made aware that the warehouse space was needed to store items required for successful resettlement, I knew we could participate in the solution by donating a ready to occumpy 4,418 square foot space. The IRC has taken that space, and quickly and successfully stood up a place refugees can obtain (free of charge) daily items needed, such as furniture, household goods, cleaning supplies, hygiene items and more,” noted Price.

The entire team at Price Real Estate was on board to support a cause that would make a positive and immediate impact for the commuinty. All worked quickly to make the space as usable as possible, progiding racking to store items, renovating the restrooms, and buliding out office space and a kitchen,

The IRC has quickly folded the donated warehouse space into daily operations. In addition to accepting the generously donated dining furniture from Overstock.com, the space enabled the IRC to receive 51 pallets of hygiene items from Procter & Gamble and over 700 new winter coats from Comcast and other local groups. Additionally, the warehouse and connected offices has provided much-needed office space and additional storage for New Roots emergency food assistance programming, providing dry goods and food staples to refugee families facing food insecurity. Finally, the warehouse has offered an opportunity for community connection, welcoming weekly volunteers as well as volunteer groups from Overstock.com and Brandless.  

The warehouse space generously donated by Price Real Estate has boosted the IRC in Salt Lake City’s capacity at a critical time. Since the end of September 2021, the IRC has welcomed over 600 Afghan evacuees to Utah in addition to hundreds of other refugee arrivals. By the end of 2022, the IRC anticipate serving nearly 1,200 individuals arriving to Utah—a sharp increase from the previous year when the IRC only resettled 138 refugees to Utah. By increasing and sustaining storage capacity, the IRC will be able to receive and redistribute community donations at an accelerated rate as staff & volunteer capacity allows.  

Community support at all levels helps ensure successful resettlement services for newly arriving refugees in our community. The support from partners such as Price Real Estate, Overstock.com, Comcast, and others have all helped aid our efforts while the IRC works to provide direct assistance and services to those arriving to Utah. If you or your organization is interested in partnering with the IRC in Salt Lake City, start by learning more at our Partner Engagement Hub here »