Staff (center) taking call from refugee
She was distraught and barely understandable even in her own language when she called.
" It's OK. We can go and talk to them together", our Outreach Worker responded in Arabic, not yet knowing exactly what the problem was, but knowing that the lady calling was a recently-arrived head of household.
"No check this month. No check. Why? Why? I don't understand man on phone."
The mystery deepened when, later that day, the lady and our Outreach Worker reached the counter where the "man on the phone" sat with his computer.
" We are here to discover why my client did not receive her check this month," our staff member began, giving also their names and why she was helping.
After looking up the file he announced, "She did not report her new income".
" What new income?"
"From the new business she has just started."
"She has certainly not started a new business."
"I have here the records with a business started by her."
A lot of translation back and forth between the outreach worker and the lady went on.
Eventually our Outreach Worker said, "I have been helping this lady for several months. She has not yet finished her required English classes, and definitely has not been able to start a business, or to earn any new money."
It became apparent that the lady had been the victim of identity theft. That completely new concept had to be explained to the lady, and a whole new set of tasks grew out of clearing her record.
Translation, transportation and a trusted person who knows you, are key to positive outcomes in cases like this. Your support makes it possible for timely and successful interventions, which keep belief in reaching self reliance a reality.