May 2017 update...
Mohammad and Salma Javed are continuing to acclimate to their new life in the US. Mohammad is working full time and Salma is busy with their three little girls. Four year old Rayah just completed the spring session of preschool within walking distance from home. Salma and the girls continue to learn the English language. St. Joseph parish was able to assist Mohammad in obtaining a bicycle to commute to Bart which is saving him time and bus fare. We were also able to provide Salma with a much needed sewing machine as well. With the assistance and support from St. Joseph Parish, the Javed’s are moving forward and settling into a normal US family routine.
March, 2017 update...
Once again our parish community is extending our hands to support a new family who arrived in February from Afghanistan. Mohammad Javed and his wife Salma have three daughters ages 3, 2 and 3 months. Javed worked as an interpreter for the US Army in Afghanistan. In the few weeks since they have been in the US, they have worked with Catholic Charities to obtain social security numbers, benefits and temporary housing. They have been very focused on finding permanent housing and we are happy to report that they have found an apartment to rent in Oakland. Our St. Joseph refugee resettlement team took them to Target which was the first large modern store they have experienced. They had a lot of fun and came away with a new car seat, shoes and clothes. The family is very happy to be in the US and very grateful for the support they have received. We will continue to extend friendship and support to the Javed family and will keep you posted as well. If you would like to extend your hand in support of a refugee family, please contact Bill McIntosh at email@example.com
January, 2017 update...
As we begin a new year, the Refugee Resettlement Committee met this week and listened to Budd MacKenzie, founder of Trust in Education. Budd shared his experience of working in Afghanistan over the past 10 years building schools and helping Afghans rebuild their lives. Over the past month our committee has also continued to provide friendship and support to Ahmad and Frozan Nazary and their three boys (friends of the Noori family who moved to Sacramento). The Nazary family qualified for subsidized housing a few months ago. They were finally able to move into their brand new 3 bedroom 2 bath in San Leandro this past week! Ahmad's brother-in-law, Kanishka Azimi and his family came to the US in November and are being sponsored by St. Leo parish in Oakland. Our committee met with the folks at St. Leo to share our experiences with them. Parishioners continue to provide donations and this generosity has kept our funding adequate enough to support our current needs and reserves which are maintained in a parish account. As we welcome 2017, we know there will be more refugees who will need support. We will continue to share the work we are doing and the needs of the refugees throughout the year. If you would like to join this committee please contact Bill McIntosh at firstname.lastname@example.org
May, 2016 update...
Moving to a new country comes with a lot of items on the To-Do list. Finding housing and employment, as well as the daily needs of raising a family are keeping the Noori family very busy. Here are some ways you can help make this transition a little easier for them.
Abdul Mobin-Noori is looking for full time employment while he researches the needed certifications to become a driver in the US. Abdul spent many years as a driver for the United Nations Mine Action Center for Afghanistan. He safely transported United Nations employees to their office or to other provinces for workshops/meetings and back to their residences. He maintained and serviced United Nations vehicles as well. Abdul speaks English and has a Bachelors degree from Kateb University, Kabul. He is looking for full time employment while he works toward his goal of obtaining driver certifications.
The family also has several appointments in the coming weeks and could use some help with transportation. If you have a car or van and if you can be available during the day to drive a family of 5 (they have three car seats), that would be very helpful as well. We have a number of people who can drive, but it is great to have an extended list for periodic transportation needs.
April 19, 2016 update...
We will be welcoming a family on Tuesday, April 19th! The Noori family is from Afghanistan. Abdul and Aspanta Noori have three boys ages 6 months, 3, and almost 5. The Dominican Sisters
have offered to temporarily house the family while we continue to look for more suitable, permanent housing. If you know of an available 2 bedroom rental in the east bay, please contact Bill McIntosh at email@example.com
. If you would like to join us in providing a warm welcome greeting at the airport, or if you are interested in providing additional support as the Noori family adjusts to life in the San Francisco bay area, please contact Kay Tierney at firstname.lastname@example.org
April 17, 2016 update...
Thank you. St. Joseph parishioners have responded to this call and with your generous donations we have collected almost $30,000 in addition to needed household items. We continue to prepare as we wait for Catholic Charities to call with a new refugee family. Our biggest challenge is locating housing. Rentals in our very high demand area are over $2,000 per month for a 2 bedroom. Since we will likely have short notice of the family’s arrival, we continue to monitor available housing. If you know of a 2 bedroom rental in our area please contact Bill McIntosh at email@example.com
. Let us continue to pray for refugees that they may find a new home in the near future.
April 10, 2016 update...
Dear St. Joseph Parishioners and Friends, Our Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ reflecting Pope Francis' call to the Diocese of Rome has encouraged parishes in the Diocese of Oakland to assist a refugee family. We are excited to announce our commitment to help a refugee family get a fresh start.
Over twenty parishioners and the St. Joseph Church community have formed a team to work with Catholic Charities. The group is made up of a broad cross section of concerned and compassionate individuals including our pastor, Dominican and Holy Family Sisters, and parishioners. Among our members are immigrants who have faced many of the challenges of coming to the United States from abroad.
Our biggest challenge is securing financing for housing. Oakland Catholic Charities initially helps the family by assisting with enrollment in Refugee Settlement (Federal and California State) financial aid programs. These monies do not come close to what is needed to survive in the Bay Area. Until parents are employed, we will be supplementing housing costs. Gifts of mentoring and financial aid are meant to be a hand up, not a hand out.
Please help our refugee family. Please make checks payable to St. Joseph Parish – Refugee Family Fund
, and mail to St. Joseph Parish; 43148 Mission Blvd.; P.O. Box 3276; Fremont, CA 94539. We can also accept donations by credit card by contacting the parish office at (510) 656-2364. We thank you in advance for considering a contribution to this effort!
Our goal is to help a family's assimilation into the U.S., and become self-sufficient. We will facilitate the location of safe housing, schooling for the children and employment for the parents. Time will be spent with the family to see what challenges they have and give guidance on how they can address them.
The Refugee Committee finance team has budgeted $50,000 for housing assistance. Can you be one of the many financial donors needed to help raise these funds? St. Joseph Parish has set up a separate Refugee Family Fund to account for these donations.
For your records St. Joseph Federal Tax ID number is 94-1358335. A letter acknowledging each donor's contribution will be provided for income tax purposes. We thank you in advance for considering a contribution to this effort!
April 3, 2016 update....
Thank you for your very generous response to the needs of the refugees. You provided every single thing we asked for—plus a generous cash donation of $17,235 to assist with the many other expenses involved with starting life over in a new country. As we have mentioned in the past, Catholic Charities is the sponsor for the refugees and we were asked to assist with this particular family. At the very end, however, we ran into an unexpected situation. The family has an uncle who has lived in the US for about 35 years, and he decided that he had sufficient resources to assist his family. Catholic Charities asked us to assist with another family that does not have as much support. We hope to welcome this family in the near future. Know that all the gifts you offered will be used for the refugees.