We are Marching Ahead, But We Still Need Your Help!

Dear SAHARA Family,

It’s been about a month since our lives have been turned upside down, and we are all trying very hard to adapt to this different way of living. Every day we are figuring out how to get food on the table, keep our income and our family’s home, stay healthy, care for those we love who are sick and try to stay strong for our family and community. These are not new responsibilities, but now we have to do it from a distance, often without even leaving our homes.

We may have orders to be socially distant, but the SAHARA family is close to you as always.
Our Board of Directors, professional staff members, and the vast network that is our support in Southern California are all focused entirely on helping you get what you need. Every day there is new information about how to pay rent, food resources, legal updates, communication tools available in English, SAHARA is translating these in Hindi, Urdu, and Gujarati so that you can make the right decisions for you and your family. 

It’s such an uncertain time, and things are changing rapidly. I know it’s amazing any of us can wrap our minds around what must be done? How to do it? What will happen next? And what does it mean for our family’s future? SAHARA’s Mental Health Therapist will visit with you by phone. Call for an appointment, and she will help you think it through with a compassionate and non-judgmental ear.
To get help now, please call us. Our staff is up to date on resource news, connected, and professional - and can speak three or four languages. If we don’t have what you need, we’ll tell you where you will likely find help. Call 562-402-4132, and SAHARA receptionists will get you connected to the right person.
Safety for domestic violence survivors: info@saharacares.org
Mental health support: smalik@saharacares.org
Elder care advocacy and avoiding eviction: bkazmi@saharacares.org
Public benefits: Fshahid@saharacares.org
Citizenship: tshaikh@saharacares.org

Our blessings go out to each of you. SAHARA will support you in every way we can. Be well, be safe, be healthy and know that you are valued and appreciated.

With Gratitude,
Marilyn Neece
Executive Director, SAHARA
Help us, help the community!
We continue to serve our clients virtually and, on the phone:
  • Our therapist is doing tele-therapy with clients that are feeling anxiety and fear 
  • Case managers continue to work with government and non-governmental organizations to ensure clients are receiving services.
  • Citizenship applications are being done over the phone 
  • Shelter directors are ensuring the occupants safety by providing them with gloves, masks, hand sanitizers etc.  
  • Shelter occupants are getting daily updates and briefings on what is going on 
  • Groceries are fully stocked up for shelter participants, so they don’t need to leave  
  • Case Managers and counselors are doing zoom based support group sessions for DV clients
  • Older adults are being called and checked on regularly, they are being provided with groceries, and anything that is necessary for their wellbeing. 
  • Every morning SAHARA staff gather for virtual calls to see how services can be improved.  

But this is not enough. In the past month since the “Safer at Home” initiative, SAHARA staff has reached out to over 200 clients to assist them in whatever way possible. Our community needs us today and will need us much more in the coming months with things like healthcare,financial assistance, mental health therapy etc. We wish we could help heal the world but all we can do is work with our South Asian community to ensure their safety, health and that they are thriving. In order to continue doing this, SAHARA needs your support.  

Your help is urgently needed. 

During the month of April 2020,  NAACF  will match up to $5000 of any donations made to SAHARA, so for every $1 you give- SAHARA gets $2 . We are truly grateful for this oppurtunity, but can't unlock this donation amount until you help us.

Our work continues especially during these difficult times, but we need your help. Please donate generously and know that every dollar goes towards helping survivors of abuse.

SAHARA Services

T hroughout the current pandemic of COVID19 Sahara’s services of support have continued to be available to some of the most vulnerable in our community. This past week, one of SAHARA’s Elder Care Services Program clients passed away after struggling from a long term illness. Over the past year SAHARA had supported this client and their partner with housing assistance, transportation access, constant translation services with medical staff and crisis counseling. With no income or familial support and while grieving from their recent loss, this client’s partner  was distressed about how final services would take place. During this difficult time of Covid19, SAHARA’s Team was able to coordinate mortuary and funeral services as well as f undraise through partner organizations in order to put our client to rest. 

SAHARA would like to thank the Islamic Center of Irvine as well as the Islamic Mortuary and Cemetery of the Antelope Valley for their financial contribution and upmost care throughout this process during a national pandemic. Furthermore, we would like to offer our deepest gratitude to community members Yasmeen Ahussain and Nigar Rangoonwala of the Muslim Mortuary Cemetery Committee of Southern California for their support.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

What does it mean to support survivors of sexual assault? Support can come in varying forms be it listening and believing survivors, being politically engaged and vocal about bringing justice to survivors or practicing safe, consensual sex. Stay tuned this month as we’ll be informing you on how you can expand your support to survivors.
If you or someone you know would like to speak with a therapist at this time, please connect with us. Remember all of our services are free!
2020 Census data will determine funding our community receives for schools, hospitals, housing and state funded programs like Medicaid. Currently, our in-person census outreach efforts in the South Asian community have come to a halt due to Coronavirus safety measures. That’s why we need your help! While you’re home, please take some time to help your family and friends complete the Census to make sure they count. You can fill out the  census  by mail, phone or online at  My2020census.gov
COVID-19 Resources

If you need any resources during this difficult time, please check out our website it has great resources and is updated daily.