I received a phone call from Brian in mid December. Brian, like many community members, expressed concern for refugees in the wake of the Syrian Refugee Crisis. He wanted to respond positively to newly-arrived refugees in Minnesota and assist in welcoming refugees to their new home.
As the Housing Case Manager at the Institute, it is my job to secure a safe, stable home for our new arrivals, including basic furnishings, bathroom supplies, and kitchen supplies. Brian and I developed a plan for him to financially sponsor a new family’s household furnishings. By doing this, the family did not have to use their resettlement funds to buy furniture. Brian and a group of his friends provided the money for the family’s basic furnishings and assisted in the set up of the household, including some cleaning and moving furniture into place.
I have worked with the International Institute of Minnesota since May of 2012, and I have never encountered such a generous offer of assistance. Not only did Brian and his friends give our new family a financial head start to their life in Minnesota, they helped make their first home what it should be, home.
If you or someone you know is interested in partnering with us to furnish an apartment for newly-arriving refugees, please email Bridget Ehrman-Solberg at BridgetES@iimn.org.