JFS Actively Resettling Afghan Refugees, and more . . .
Welcome to autumn!
Each new season brings change and opportunities. It’s certainly true at JFS SV, where we’ve been expanding to meet the increased needs in our community.
Join us and fall into something good at Jewish Family Services!
P.S. Thank you for your ongoing support in welcoming refugees to Silicon Valley. Read on below . . .
JFS SV Resettling Afghan Refugees
The crisis in Afghanistan is no longer front and center in the media, yet the Afghans who escaped still feel the impact.
Jewish Family Services of Silicon Valley now welcomes these new refugees to our community. In the past two months we’ve resettled over 40 refugees with more than 200 expected this year.
Our refugee services team, with three new staff members, is busy! They’re securing housing, connecting them with medical providers and schools, helping them find jobs, and providing mental health and advocacy support.
Our interfaith volunteer group (Jewish, Latter-Day Saints, Muslim, Christian) gathers furniture to help newly arrived refugee families move into their new homes.
Our Refugee Housing volunteer Marlene Somsak created a refugee support village through Nextdoor wherein people donate new and very gently used furniture. As a result, when a refugee moves into permanent housing, Marlene is able to outfit their entire apartment with all essential items. Members of the community and the LDS church have joined in her efforts to help store the items and act as movers.
We recently resettled an Afghan family of three who waited 11 and a half years for their U.S. refugee admissions to be approved. The family arrived with only their clothes and a few personal items. Our Housing Committee quickly stepped in and located a host who is kindly allowing the family to stay rent free in their apartment complex for the next few months. Marlene Somsak assembled furniture and household items and delivered them to their apartment. The family is now settling into their new place, enrolling in school and working with our staff to obtain their first jobs in America.
Another refugee housing success story: Recently a woman called JFS in response to our plea for temporary and permanent housing. She told us: “I am a widow, I’m lonely and I need a purpose. I have a big home and I’d like to offer rooms to refugees." We needed a home for a family of five - a mom with four children. A match was made. The living situation has worked out so well and been such a positive experience that our host offered to house the family through June 2022!
Affordable housing is our biggest need for refugees. If you can help, please contact Debbie Michels, JFS SV Refugee Services Housing Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 408-357-7467.
JFS SV Refugee Rescue Services
in the Media
Learn more about how JFS is responding to the Afghan refugee crisis: