4 Syrian refugee families arrive in St. Louis

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Volunteers Annie Russell, Alicia Bawa and staff member Suzanne LeLaurin carry food while preparing an apartment for an arriving refugee family on Tuesday, June 14, 2016, in the West End neighborhood of St. Louis. (Photo by Shelby Kardell, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

ST. LOUIS (AP) – Twenty-six Syrian refugees have arrived in St. Louis to start new lives.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the International Institute of St. Louis helped four families make their way to the city over the weekend. Volunteers with the institute spent last week preparing housing and gathering food items for each family.

The families will go through orientation. That includes enrolling in English classes and filling out applications for Social Security cards, Medicaid and food stamps.

President Barack Obama announced in September that he would increase the number of refugees accepted into the U.S. this year from 70,000 to 85,000, with 10,000 of them from Syria.

The institute is expected to sponsor about 965 refugees this year.

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