Steve owns a few properties around Denver, including a modest rental home in a quiet neighborhood, close to shops, schools and a park. In early 2017, he listed the house for rent. And with Asaad and Sabah’s family in need of long-term housing, the IRC in Denver answered the ad. Little did anyone know that this single phone call would not only result in finding a home for a newly arrived family, it was also the beginning of an ongoing relationship between Steve, the family, the IRC in Denver and other refugee families in need of support.
When the IRC in Denver responded to Steve’s ad looking for a long-term rental, Steve decided to give it a shot. “We just posted the house for rent, never even thinking about housing for a family who was starting life over again,” he said. “Giving a little goes a long way. The timing was good, and it was a great opportunity for us to give back to people who lost so much.”
Over the past several months, Steve has become much more than a landlord to Asaad and Sabah’s family, as well as others. He’s found cars for several families, helps provide furniture, computers and other necessities on a regular basis, and even gave Sabah a sewing machine that belonged to his late mother. When we asked Steve about his continued support, he humbly provided the following explanation. “These families have to start from square one. Helping make sure their basic needs are met is just the right thing to do. We take a lot for granted and this is one way I can do my part,” Steve said.
“I feel that having to start life over in a new country and learning a new language and culture must be tough. So anything I can do to help, including my friendship, can hopefully make the experience just a little bit better,” Steve explained. “I want these new Americans to understand what really makes our country great—and that’s our ability to make people feel wanted and welcome. And I’m proud to be able to do what I can to pass that message along.”