With much anxiety and full of hope, our Interfaith Good Neighbor Team on Thursday will welcome a refugee family from Ethiopia. The team has committed to work closely with the family over the next six months to ease resettlement into their new community. The family includes a single mother, age 33; boys ages 4 and 9; and a girl age 6. The family is being placed through the High Point/Winston-Salem offices of World Relief, one of nine resettlement agencies approved by the federal government.
Volunteers will stock the apartment with furniture and supplies, assist with applying for Social Security cards; assist in seeking employment opportunities; assist in registering with the Department of Social Services for food stamps (SNAP), Medicaid, etc.; assist with initial health assessments and securing primary care providers; assist in setting up bank accounts and paying bills such as rent and utilities; and many other activities.
Volunteers and friends have contributed over $2,000 to World Relief to help cover operational expenses, and Interfaith Winston-Salem, through its Compassionate Winston-Salem program, has set aside $1,000 to help the family create a home in this community.
The interfaith volunteers began meeting in February to explore the possibility of forming a Good Neighbor Team. Each member has completed a formal application, has participated in four hours of orientation and training and has had a background screening.
Members of the team are Brooke Suiter, Carolyn Coram, Jerry McLeese, Jo Ann Mount, Johnne Armentrout, Joy Troyer, Judith Saxton, Judy Greene, Kate Weaver (and Ella and Cole), Kathy Watts, Nancy Gould, Sarah Blackwell, Shereen Abdelfattah Gomaa, Tasha Strupe and Truman Dunn. Others will be joining the team.
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