What a coincidence, just as I posted my previous report from California about refugees adding poverty to already impoverished areas, here comes more news about refugees who can’t afford housing (Afghans again too). Hat tip:Joanne
It is commendable that citizens may now take up the cause of this mother and son (private charity should be the primary source of support anyway!), but notice this is temporary until this Afghan ‘refugee’ can get her Social Security Disability!
We (Chuck Ackerman & Catherine Donnelly) are looking to raise rent for our new neighbors on Cleveland’s west side, a mother and her 14-year-old son who are refugees from Afghanistan. We will call them “Aisha” and “Majid”. Because of the situation they have fled, we’re not using their real names.
As volunteers with refugee settlement agency US Together, we met the family soon after they arrived in the U.S. in December 2016. Aisha is an amazing cook and host while soccer-loving Majid wants to be a doctor someday. Although Aisha is working on her English, Majid uses his great English skills to translate for his mother.
But the violence they left behind has left Aisha with many physical and mental traumas that prevent her from working. As an educated woman, Aisha faced persecution in Afghanistan and bears the scars. Since her medical history has been tough to document, her first application for Social Security Disability was denied.
She is working with a great local lawyer to appeal and we feel they have a strong case. But the appeal is expected to take 12-18 months and in the meantime, the family needs to pay rent.
Their rent is $550 per month, so we are looking to raise $6,600, or 12 months of rent. That said, every cent counts! Each month of rent we can raise will get the family closer to the date they can get the benefits they need to meet their own needs. The next date they need $ for rent is December 1, 2017. We’ll be keeping the fundraiser going until we meet the goal or the family wins their appeal.
As refugee support groups face drastic funding cuts these days, the resources available for families like this one who are already here are dwindling. That’s why we are turning to you for help.
By giving to this fundraiser, you will help this family achieve the peace of mind and breathing room they need for Aisha to work on her health and recovery from trauma and for Majid to focus on succeeding in high school and build the foundation he needs to one day become a doctor and help others. [I don’t want to sound too cynical but I swear in every refugee story there is a kid who wants to be a doctor!—ed]
It’s true that the family has other needs, though this fundraiser is focused on the basics of maintaining their housing. But if you have any ideas or resources you’d like to share or have questions about their other needs, please let us know!
We are so grateful for your support!
Watch this space for updates—we may plan a good, old-fashioned rent party!
Help spread the word!
Bringing poverty to America…..
New readers need to know that when the original Refugee Act of 1980 was debated in Congress, sponsors like Ted Kennedy, promised it was not about importing poverty!
Resettlement contractors like US Together get federal support for the family for about 3 months at which point they drop them like hot potatoes to get ready for their next paying clients.
They actually call them clients!
By the way, US Together is a subcontractor of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society where its CEO makes over $300,000 a year. Sure hope Mark Hetfield is contributing to this poor woman’s rent as he is busy lobbying Congress for more refugees (and trashing Trump!).