Monday, August 29, 2005

Somali family can't afford to live in New Hampshire

Associated Press:

Besides his meager income as a landscaper, a Somali man has relied on food stamps to support his seven children and his pregnant wife. But there's little left for things like soap, diapers, utilities -- and rent.

Next week, against his family's wishes, Mohamed Mohamed plans to move everyone to Maine, where he's heard that life is cheaper and easier for Somali immigrants. They've been in Concord for 10 months.

His is not an isolated case, said Nasir Arush, a Somali translator who assists the family and other members of the Bantu communities in Concord and Manchester. A persecuted minority in Somalia, the Bantus fled to refugee camps in Kenya after civil war erupted in 1991. Many adults had no education and their children had lived in refugee-camp tents.

Arush said he is trying to help four other families in Manchester who have received eviction notices. Other families are just barely holding on.

"It's an emergency," Arush told the Concord Monitor in a story published Friday. "I think people will be on the streets soon."

Arush said the family isn't happy about leaving. Mohamed's family felt welcome in Concord. Volunteers helped interpret his mail, negotiate complicated phone bills, and enroll his children in recreational programs.

Lutheran Social Services, a federal subcontractor that resettles refugees in New Hampshire, has placed 68 Bantu immigrants in Concord since last October. Lutheran and other resettlement agencies help with rent, job placement and other services, but offerings are limited by federal funding. Most of the benefits run out within eight months, said Ann Dancy, Lutheran's director of refugee services.

"The big thing here is that rent is simply too high," said Ellen Kenny, who teaches English for Speakers of Other Languages at the Rumford School and is one of the organizers of the Concord Multicultural Project, a confederation of volunteers who assist the city's refugees.

"It's just not affordable for people with low income, and that's true of the Americans that live here in Concord as well as everybody else."

Mohamed's rent and utilities can exceed $1,100 a month.

The Bantus are having a harder time than other refugees at achieving self-sufficiency because their learning curve is steeper, Arush said.

"You have to teach everything," he said, from how to cross a street safely to how to use a toilet.

More and more Bantu refugees are telling Arush they dream of life in Lewiston, Maine -- a Somali destination that, they have heard, offers cheaper living, more public immigrant aid and shorter waiting lists for Section 8 rental assistance.

A year later, Somalis to be refugees again

FBI had cause to arrest Somali man in bomb plot, agent testifies

Minister: Somalia breeding ground for terrorism

Banned In Lewiston? Female Genital Mutilation

A Letter to the Somali Community

The Great Somali Welfare Hunt


At 11:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"a federal subcontractor"

Interesting -- seldom is it so openly publicized that these 'charitable' organizations actually get tax money for this sort of work. And then turn around and use some of it to lobby the federal government to allow in more "refugees".

It's depressing to see this going on in New England -- I've been thinking that area could be one place to go in order to escape the increasing 'diversification' of America.

At 12:31 PM, Blogger hoss_tagge said...

**SEVEN** children? and a pregnant wife?? whoa nelly. i would question the wisdom of allowing a single person from somalia to emigrate to the u.s., as experience shows they are going to be a heavy burden on the state and have a hard time assimilating culturally and economically -- if they ever do. if we allowed the family and all the kids into the u.s., that's economic suicide. if they had the kids since they got here, it shows you that third worlders bring all of their cultural and related "habits" with them and do not change when they get here. i am sure the residents of lewiston, maine, who have already been overwhelmed with poor, illiterate, needy somalis, will be happy to increase further their multiculturalism and bring these people into the town. maybe they can change the name of lewiston to little mogadishu! can someone explain to me again why we want more diversity in our country???? (and why we want to increase our demand for petroleum and other natural resources?!). the immigration problem has clearly reached a crisis and we need a moratorium -- now.

At 3:22 PM, Blogger Adam Lawson said...

the immigration problem has clearly reached a crisis and we need a moratorium

True. Unfortunately, anyone who makes that point publicly usually ends up being called a racist.

At 10:45 AM, Blogger Andrew Winters said...

So the right thing to do is not take any refugees into this country. Just let them be killed because we are too greedy to share our resources. The amount of tax money used on programs like this pales in comparison to corporate welfare. It's practically negligible. Furthermore, in the long-term this country will need a younger people to support our aging and infirm. Just look at the demographic trends. Who is going to support us when we are old? Your anti-immigration diatribes are penny wise and pound foolish.

At 6:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"So the right thing to do is not take any refugees into this country. Just let them be killed because we are too greedy to share our resources."

A typical leftist schmuck. The right things to do is to make sure Africa is prosperous, which might mean making sure it has High IQ leadership. This way we can protect world wide diversity, our interest, and theirs. How does taking a few Africans out of Africa solve the problems of Africa?

At 6:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Who is going to support us when we are old? Your anti-immigration diatribes are penny wise and pound foolish"

At least you admit that mass immigration and the multicultural diversity project has imposed a substantial near term cost on the nation as a whole.

If the issue is maintaining a replacement population, shouldn't the issue be maintaining a replacement population and developing an economy that is not inherently a Ponzi scheme?

At 5:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stop the flood gates.

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