Radiant Hands began working with the four refugee resettlement agencies in Hillsborough & Pinellas counties in October 2015. Within the first six months, we served more than 90 families from a variety of countries (Afghanistan, Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Sudan Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sri Lanka and Iran).
When a resettlement agencyfirst notifies usof a new arrival and provides us with a picture ID , country of origin and basic family information, we then provide each family with a hot meal from the local halal restaurant, a welcome basket and a cell phone with free service for two months. We then complete an intake on each family and, after identifying the needs of the clients, we procure the necessary items from donations from the local Muslim community as well as from other sources.
Our first objective is to fulfill as many basic needs that the clients may have such as furniture, household goods and clothing to offset the amount of money that has to be spent from their government allotment. Thereafter, we work on a referral system to help the clients satisfy other needs such as: medical, dental, government application assistance, legal issues, ESL, jobs and job training. On an as-needed basis, we provide financial assistance for rent, utilities, daycare, job training, and transportation.
Another objective is to get the families involved in the Muslim community. We partner our volunteers with families of the same ethnicity, and they, in turn, introduce the families to the larger Muslim community. We also financially assist the children’s transportation to the Islamic weekend school, and after-school homework tutoring. In addition, we have held bi-monthly clothing and household goods giveaways at the local masjid for both the refugee families and the low-income families in the community.
Our main goal is to help the families become self-sufficient within the first year of their resettlement in the Tampa Bay area.
For more information about Radiant Hands refugee services, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.