Help Refugee Family Pay Rent!

$4,243 of $6,600 goal

Raised by 37 people in 10 months
Created August 26, 2017
We (Chuck Ackerman & Catherine Donnelly) are looking to raise rent for our new neighbors on Cleveland’s west side, a mother and her 14-year-old son who are refugees from Afghanistan.  We will call them “Aisha” and “Majid”. Because of the situation they have fled, we’re not using their real names.

As volunteers with refugee settlement agency US Together, we met the family soon after they arrived in the U.S. in December 2016.  Aisha is an amazing cook and host while soccer-loving Majid wants to be a doctor someday.  Although Aisha is working on her English, Majid uses his great English skills to translate for his mother.

But the violence they left behind has left Aisha with many physical and mental traumas that prevent her from working.  As an educated woman, Aisha faced persecution in Afghanistan and bears the scars.  Since her medical history has been tough to document, her first application for Social Security Disability was denied. 

She is working with a great local lawyer to appeal and we feel they have a strong case.  But the appeal is expected to take 12-18 months and in the meantime, the family needs to pay rent. 

Their rent is $550 per month, so we are looking to raise $6,600, or 12 months of rent.  That said, every cent counts!  Each month of rent we can raise will get the family closer to the date they can get the benefits they need to meet their own needs. The next date they need $ for rent is December 1, 2017.  We’ll be keeping the fundraiser going until we meet the goal or the family wins their appeal. 

As refugee support groups face drastic funding cuts these days, the resources available for families like this one who are already here are dwindling.  That’s why we are turning to you for help.

By giving to this fundraiser, you will help this family achieve the peace of mind and breathing room they need for Aisha to work on her health and recovery from trauma and for Majid to focus on succeeding in high school and build the foundation he needs to one day become a doctor and help others.

It’s true that the family has other needs, though this fundraiser is focused on the basics of maintaining their housing.  But if you have any ideas or resources you’d like to share or have questions about their other needs, please let us know!

We are so grateful for your support!

Watch this space for updates—we may plan a good, old-fashioned rent party!
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Thanks to those who came to meet the family a few weeks ago. They enjoyed meeting you and making new friends. From that event came an offer to teach English to the Mom, which was enthusiastically accepted! Also out of this campaign someone donated a laptop to the son who can now do his homework from home and not have to go to the library

The Mom has her Social Security Disability appeal hearing scheduled for later this month so keep your fingers crossed, pray, or whatever works!

A decision will likely not be made at the hearing so it could take a while yet for this issue to be resolved.

Your generous contributions have kept them in their apartment, safe and warm.

Thanks so much to all of you!

Catherine and Chuck
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Wow! Thanks so much for your support everyone! We've almost got two months rent!
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Read a Previous Update

$4,243 of $6,600 goal

Raised by 37 people in 10 months
Created August 26, 2017
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Pat Donnelly
2 months ago
Catherine Donnelly
2 months ago
Margaret Misak
3 months ago
Elizabeth Donnelly
3 months ago
John and Margaret Wilbur
3 months ago
Micah Tan
5 months ago
Sara Doran
5 months ago
Emily/Aaron Muttillo
5 months ago
Adam Whiting
5 months ago
David Moore Katie Collin
5 months ago
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