Readers, this must mean good news for Iowa—-the state has no more American citizens in poverty!
Just kidding of course, but honestly the average American reads a story like this one and asks: What about our own poor people?
From AP at the Houston Chronicle (hat tip: Joanne):
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The war is long behind them, as are their days living in forests and refugee campus, but life for Abdineko Mausa and Andjela Uredi’s family of 12 remains a difficult one.
For nearly two years, the Congolese family — with 10 children ranging between 2 months to 21 — have lived elbow-to-elbow in a tiny Johnson County apartment.
The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports (http://icp-c.com/1nWNHCV ) that will change this fall, however, when the family moves into a newly built six-bedroom, two-bathroom home — the largest ever constructed by Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity. The Iowa City-based organization has put nearly 100 families in homes over the past two decades — including many refugees — but likely none as large as Mausa and Uredi’s family.
The article then gives readers some facts on the Iowa refugee program. Not mentioned here, however, was the big flood of Bosnians Bill Clinton sent to Iowa for his meatpacking buddies.
Through the United Nations Refugee Agency, the family came to Fort Worth, Texas, in 2010. They eventually relocated to eastern Iowa, where they’ve lived since 2012. Mausa has a job on a factory line through a local staffing service, and they rely on government help, as well as local charities, to get by. The family’s three youngest children were born in the U.S., where Mausa and Uredi are currently working toward citizenship.
John Wilken, bureau chief for Iowa’s Bureau of Refugee Services, estimates that more than 50,000 refugees have settled in Iowa since the state’s program began in 1975. That number, however, doesn’t include refugees who have since left the state, or who — like Mausa’s family — are considered secondary migrants because they previously lived in another state.
Over the past five fiscal years ending in 2013, 2,580 refugees settled in Iowa, though just 31 were from the Congo. In recent years, the Burmese have been the top refugee group arriving in Iowa, followed by the Bhutanese and Iraqis.
Wilken said for refugee families, finding housing during the recession and the years after has been doubly difficult.
Yup, but they keep bringing them in anyway!
I wonder do Gillette and Casper, Wyoming have big inexpensive apartments and houses for rent?