Eden Prairie, MN Somalis want taxpayers to provide more low-income housing (for their people)

Remember readers, if your town (or state—Wyoming!) is “welcoming” refugees (and is initially generous with social services) this is the inevitable outcome—aggressive refugees, once their numbers reach a sufficient level, will demand more from local taxpayers.

Community organizer Asad Aliweyd Director of the New American Academy in Eden Prairie: “…the need is huge.” http://metrostability.org/news/article.php?sid=Alliance_Welcomes_New_Board_Members

From the Minneapolis Star Tribune:

As an outer-ring, affluent suburb, Eden Prairie may seem an unlikely city to draw a growing refugee community. But 17 years ago, Somali-Americans like Asad Aliweyd moved there for its top-ranked schools, safe community and job opportunities.

Now, nearly two decades later, Eden Prairie has the third-largest Somali population in the Twin Cities, next to Minneapolis and St. Paul, according to the city, with an estimated 3,500 to 5,000 residents.

The Somali language is second only to English in Eden Prairie schools. The police department has its first Somali police reserve officer. And the city has Somali businesses, including a halal grocery store, and two mosques.

“Eden Prairie is more welcoming to Somalis than anywhere else,” said Aliweyd, a former math teacher who now runs a center providing classes for Somali youth and adults.

But he and other Somali leaders are pushing for more support from the city and school district, and for more affordable housing as the city plans for development along the future Southwest Corridor light-rail line. There, Aliweyd envisions a multicultural market like Minneapolis’ Midtown Global Market and more affordable apartments.

“In Eden Prairie, we are in an island,” he said of Somali resources. “If we weren’t here, no one would be doing this.”

City and school leaders say they are providing free resources to residents for everything from finding housing to filling out job applications, hosting a popular monthly program for Somali mothers and having Somali-speaking coordinators to help families.

We’re trying to help them out the best we can with limited budgets,” City Council Member Brad Aho said.  [Bend over!—ed]

There is a lot more in the article.  Go here to continue reading.

Here are our previous posts mentioning Eden Prairie.

Columbus, Ohio activists working hard on behalf of Somalis looking for good affordable housing, here.

See one of our top posts for all time, from 2011Why so many Somalis in Minneapolis?—and thank the US State Department, Catholic Charities, Lutheran Social Services and World Relief Minnesota for dropping the original Somali seed community into the fertile ground of a generous, welfare-rich, state.

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