"We have been living in the garbage for so long and now we have a home with furniture and toys for the children."
A refugee, from Somalia speaking through tears expresses her gratitude to the volunteers at Saint’s Place. Her gratitude was overwhelming. She and her six children had been homeless and now they had a home and furniture! Mom had been in the country for over 8 years and still struggles to adjust. Escaping poverty for some refugees is an endless struggle.
Saint’s Place is now working to assist refugees already living in the Rochester area. Many refugees live in poverty. They need consistent help in order to advance out of poverty. During the next several months, Saint’s Place will work to identify families needing assistance to escape the grips of poverty. We will work closely with schools that have large refugee populations offering incentives to students to stay in school. Education is one very important factor in moving out of poverty. A better job, and a higher salary are all key components in moving forward.
Refugees we helped three and four years ago approach us at Wegman’s, in the Mall, on the sidewalk. They give us an “update”: “My husband was promoted at Wegmans. He is a chef now”. “My daughter graduated from MCC and is now working in a doctor’s office”. “My son received a scholarship and is at McQuaid. He is going to college to studymedicine”. Several families we know have purchased starter homes in Henrietta , Greece and the city.
A Sudan family of seven arrived in September is learning how to maneuver the medical world. Their three year old son recently had a liver transplant in New York City. The father who is disabled accompanies the child to NYC, while mom is home with the other four children. The mother also works full time. The family is cheerful, and very happy to have good medical care to save their son.
Three Cuban men came to the Clothing Closet a few weeks ago. We have multiple world maps on the walls. They showed the volunteers the walking path they experienced in order
to get to the United States and freedom. They walked the length of Mexico, stopping for temporary employment. It took them nearly a year and they walked, hiked rugged terrain, avoided patrols to get to Texas and from there to Rochester. They walked over 3000 miles. One was an electrician, one was a mechanical engineer and the third was a mason. They just kept smiling telling us how happy they were to be here.