After fleeing war-torn Iraq in 2011, Fadi and his family were displaced to Syria, Lebanon, and finally to the United States as refugees. When they landed at the San Diego Airport in August 2014, Refugee Reception and Placement staff members from Jewish Family Service (JFS) were there to welcome them. Staff transported the family to their new neighborhood, settled them in an apartment with furniture and a stocked refrigerator, and began services to help them adjust to their new life.
With limited English and no high school diploma, Fadi worked with the Refugee Employment team to create a self-sufficiency plan and identify career goals to find employment, and complete continuing education. Fadi enrolled in a combined GED and part-time work program, and after several months of dedicated effort, he received his GED and secured a full-time position as a machine specialist at a local food plant.
Soon, Fadi will enroll in community college, and with the help of JFS’s Immigration Services Program, Fadi and his family will become permanent residents in a community where they can feel safe to build a future.
San Diego County is the largest refugee resettlement site in California and San Diego has the largest number of Iraqi refugees in the United States. Over 13,000 Iraqi refugees have arrived in San Diego County from October 2008 through September 2014.
Photo credit: The San Diego Union Tribune