New Apartments, New Partnerships, New Beginnings
Coming to the US as a refugee is never easy, and in some ways it can be even harder for singles. Not only do they not count on the support of family as they adjust to life here, but there are economic barriers as well. Even when IRC makes an effort to group three or four singles together as roommates, costs still work out against them. Married couples can share a bed; a family of six needs as many kitchen tables as a family of three. There are extra costs for IRC Atlanta as well making singles expensive all around.
This year, the IRC Atlanta has seen a significant rise in the number of refugees we resettle who arrive on their own. While this is likely a temporary trend due to overseas dynamics in the resettlement process, this year is having an impact and tightening up the budget.
To offset the increased costs of setting up new homes for singles, the IRC Atlanta is seeking to increase the use of donated goods for apartment set-ups. A donated set of cook ware or table can save a newly arrived refugee funds that can be used to cover rent and other basic needs. This is why we are delighted to have found a great ally in the Brookhaven United Methodist Church.
Brookhaven UMC wanted to support the IRC Atlanta through their March Mission. When they heard about our efforts to help singles, they offered to collect all the items needed to furnish two apartments housing eight single refugee roommates. Throughout the month the congregation donated everything needed, from soap and razors to bed frames and sofas. They were joined by the Suther Center, a thrift store partner of theirs in the Broad Street Antique Mall, who donated some large furnishings from their stock.
The church’s generosity was stunning. It took almost four hours to load and unload all of the items – many of which were purchased new – and filled a medium-sized moving truck. Not only was the drive a great money-saver for the eight newly arrived refugees in these two homes, but the congregation also donated large amounts of clothing and household items for IRC’s Resettlement Shop, which will go to many more families.
This will hopefully be the beginning of a long-lasting relationship with Brookhaven UMC and the Suther Center who have already been so selfless in supporting our refugees in their difficult transition to a new life in America. Thank you Brookhaven UMC!
If you or your organization would like to help newly arrived refugees by donating goods, please contact Duncan de la Feld at 678-636-8933 or Duncan.delaFeld@rescue.org. A list of the most needed items can be found here.