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Resettlement: A Mother’s Perspective

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After living in a hotel for 2 months upon arrival, Rosa was relieved to find housing in NJ. The opportunity to move into her new home with her children means security, stability, and renewal. For Rosa, these changes are not easy. As a single mother, Rosa’s main goal is to navigate her new environment safely while supporting her children’s adjustment to this new beginning.  

For most refugees and immigrants, it's incredibly difficult to find a sense of belonging and stability in a new community. The uncertainty of resettlement can often feel isolating and challenging. For single parents, it can be overwhelming to resolve these uncertainties all at once.  

Rosa received support from the IRC in NJ resettlement team, and setting up key goals of the things she and her children needed in order to transition. Among these concerns, was applying for critical public benefits and her EAD card. While waiting for her public benefits, Rosa participated in English tutoring for a month and focused on enrolling her children in school. For any mother, this is the most important phase in the process, ensuring their children are enrolled in the correct grade and are emotionally prepared to begin classes.  

Rosa explains, “I was worried about my children’s emotional adjustment in school, that they would feel scared to start in a new environment. It’s not easy. I was surprised, though. I have seen nothing but motivation in them. My nine-year-old is happy but also a bit shy with her English, but I keep encouraging her to understand that it will take time”  

...And it does take time

With the support of the housing specialists, Rosa and her two children now have an apartment that suits their family. The IRC in NJ gathered the support of its partners and volunteers to prepare a kid-friendly home for Rosa and her children. Come June, her children’s school year will come to a close, and Rosa will continue to focus on finding a job, and hopefully pursuing English classes herself. In the meantime, her plans are to take each day slowly and to focus on getting to know her new neighbourhood, whilst building a home for her children. The IRC in NJ wishes for all caregiver figures to find a sense of belonging and forwardness in their new phases in supporting their family with resettlement and taking care of their wellbeing.