Houston Matters

Many Refugees In Houston Face Wage Loss After Harvey

Imagine fleeing your country because of war or famine, then arriving in Houston –- only to have your home flooded by a tropical storm. That’s been the experience of many refugees in Greater Houston after Harvey wreaked havoc on the area.

An aerial view of the flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas, Aug. 31, 2017. Hurricane Harvey formed in the Gulf of Mexico and made landfall in southeastern Texas, bringing record flooding and destruction to the region. U.S. military assets supported FEMA as well as state and local authorities in rescue and relief efforts.
An aerial view of the flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas, Aug. 31, 2017. Hurricane Harvey formed in the Gulf of Mexico and made landfall in southeastern Texas, bringing record flooding and destruction to the region.

Many refugees in Greater Houston are facing financial challenges after after Harvey wreaked havoc on the area.

That’s because many work hourly jobs and lost wages while businesses were shut down. But refugees are resilient people, having already escaped war, famine, and other challenges in their native countries.

We discuss the specific needs and challenges facing Houston’s refugee community after Harvey with Ali Al Sudani, vice president of Refugee Services for Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston, and with Dario Lipovac, senior program director at YMCA International Services.

MORE: The YMCA is holding an art show, featuring the work of artists who are refugees resettled in Houston. Some of them were professional artists in their native countries but had to give that up in the United States to work jobs like driving taxis or other hourly work. The YMCA says an exhibit like this is both a way for many of them to reconnect with their passions – but also a way for them to make money and be self-sufficient in their new country.

Art Exhibit: Triumph of the Human Spirit: Works from Houston’s Refugee and Immigrant Artists
Date: Oct. 6, 6 to 9 p.m.
Location: St. John’s School, 2401 Claremont Lane
More Information: https://www.ymcahouston.org/triumph-human-spirit

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