Refugee Resettlement

"A generous person will prosper;
whoever refreshes others will be refreshed."
Proverbs 11:25

 June 20, 2024 – Since helping Rohullah’s family get settled, we took a couple of weekends to clean out and inventory our shed. Our new updated list of needs includes: mixing bowls, pots and pans, hand mixers, blenders, 9″x13″ baking pans, measuring cups and spoons, potato peelers, manual can openers, knives, cutting boards,twin sheets and comforters, laundry baskets, iron & ironing boards, hand towels and face cloths, toilet brush/plunger, broom & dust pan, floor mop, bucket, trash bin and waste baskets, laptop computers, Smart TVs and microwaves are needed.  These items can be brought to the Parish Office where we then move them into the shed. If you have questions or any of the items listed, please call/text Don Kaefer (510-427-3007). We are so very grateful for all the support you continue to give us to help them

May 15, 2024 – Rohullah, his wife Hangama, their 8 and 10 year old sons and 5 year old daughter moved into their apartment in Union City. We were able to bring them beds, linens, kitchen and bath supplies, lamps, night stands and a vacuum. IRC had a table and chairs for them, pillows, 5 dinner plates and bowls, 5 forks and spoons, a frying pan and a stock pot, 1 set of sheets for each bed and basic personal toiletries. We will let them settle in a few days before connecting with them again and we will let you know how they are doing. They were so grateful for the things we had in the shed for them. Their greatest need right now is a Smart TV and computer.

February 24, 2024 Update  Over Christmas and New Year the Refugee Team were called by a home and a motel that were closing. “Come take whatever you can use for the Refugees, please.” Dressers, nightstands, small tables, chairs, lamps of all sizes, wastebaskets, brand new linens and towels, pillows – such an abundance it seemed at the time. Our shed was stuffed to overflowing! And then we met Qausudin and Mohamad. In late January  Qaisudin,  his wife, Mina, 6 year old Sudcris and 2.5 year old Omra moved into an apartment, but had no furniture.  IRC gave them beds, but not much else. We were pleased to be able to give them bed linens and towels, kitchen items and cleaning supplies. And our shed was still well stocked and ready for the next family. Until today when  we met Mohammad’s Family: wife, Sharifa, Hena (11), Yalda (9), Samsoor (6) and 2 year old Hella. They had just gotten keys to their new apartment a few days ago and needed everything. We filled 4 SUVs with dressers, Amazon beds & mattresses (in boxes), linens, towels, kitchen supplies, lamps and night stands. We put beds toghether and opened the mattresses. On Monday they will sign up the three oldest children at school (Kindergarten, Grade 3 & 6) and decide what to do next to find a job with dad’s friend.

January 27, 2024 Update     We helped Fraidan and his family move in the week after Thanksgiving 2023. Today, 17 year old Nooran is attending high school and 19 year old Amina is working on registering at Ohlone college.  Fraidan has his drivers license and hopes to get a car, but currently they get around on bikes provided by Good Karma Bikes in San Jose or Uber/Lyft. Fraidan and Aziza hope to find jobs soon.

November 26, 2023  Fraidun, his wife and two teen daughters will have keys to their new home here in Fremont on Wednesday. Beds have been ordered for them and we have bed linens (except pillows), kitchen basics and bathroom towels covered for them to start. But many of those basics are almost gone. See the new list above for needed items.

9/28/2023  IRC has finally welcomed two new housing staffers and we were ready to help when they called. After 5 months in a hotel, Ghulan Ghaus, his wife and three children were finally able to get a 2 bedroom apartment in Fremont where their older son has been living. Zahra and Sarah are 23 and 22 respectively, speak english very well and hope to continue their education one day soon. They were grateful for the beds, dressers, table and chairs, linens, dishes, utensils, lamps and shower curtains we were able to provide.

In October 2022 we met the Mohamed Family, dad (a doctor in Afghanistan) and 4 sons. His wife and 5 younger children were still in Afghanistan working to get passports for everyone. The passport agency was closed for awhile and fees for them were enormous, making them unattainable for most of the past year. But a recent phone conversation with Mohamed brought good news: they all have passports! The last hurdle is to get Visas to the United States for them all, and it looks like they will have to travel to Qatar to get those. Please pray this last step does not take them another year. The boys miss their mother very much!

7/16/2023  Last April we were able to help Benafsha’s sister and brother-in-law, Mir, move into an apartment just as her parents and younger brother and sister arrived from Afghanistan (see 4/30/2023). This month, we will be helping Benafsha’s  father and mother move into their own apartment near Mir thanks to Jaweed’s hard work, financial support and all our generous parishioners! They have been able to secure a 3 bedroom /2 bath apartment and we will bring tables, chairs, beds, linens, bath and kithcen supplies for them to start settling into their new home. Currently Wahidullah and his son, Walid, are working to get driver’s licenses and Walid will start work at Amazon.  Halina will be a senior in high school in August and their mother, Farida, asked for someone to help her learn english. Please pray for them all as they transition into their new lives here.

6/13/2023 Last week IRC contacted us about the Rohullah Family of four: dad, mom and two boys aged 5 and 10 years. Today we raided the shed for kitchen, bedroom and bathroom supplies we had on hand and brought them to the apartment before the family arrived the following day. Today we will pick up and deliver bed frames, a table and chairs, a desk, TV stand and sofas and order new box springs and mattresses to be delivered to them soon.  We will continue to look for dressers and a coffee table for them and a bike for the 10 year old boy. The 2 bedroom apartment is very nice and they have family living in the same complex, so they have support close that many of our families miss. So we will keep in touch, but they may not need much more from us.

5/20/2023 The Mohammady Family received the double stroller making it easier to get to school to register the girls in 3rd, 5th and 7th grades. A second bunk bed was delivered along with a vacuum and one parishioner donated a clean laptop computer and another purchased the software and printer, so they are now able to communicate easily. And now we prepare for another.

5/5/2023 We received a phone call from the Mohammady Family one night last week. Dad was asking us if we could help his family: mom, 4 girls from 4 to 12 years old and a 3 year old son. They had a 2 bedroom apartment and were sleeping on the floor, had nothing to sit on or cook in. We went to the shed the next day and brought them a queen mattress, blankets, towels, dishes, pots & pans, a pressure cooker and kitchen items from the shed. Mattresses have been purchased and delivered for 4 twin beds and a queen bed platform frame, also, for the queen mattress.  As we continue to look for clothing, we prepare for another family coming in this month through IRC. None of this would be possible as quickly as we were able, if your donations were not right here in the shed!

4/30/2023  Jaweed and Benafsha came to the U.S. 5 years ago.  Jaweed went to Chabot College to get classes he needed to enroll in Tesla’s Mechanic Training program. He paid rent and bills as a Lyft driver at night during that time.  They were able to move from a 1 bedroom in San Leandro to a 2 bedroom apartment in Fremont close to Tesla where he works.  They are now U.S. citizens, their son is in first grade and they have a beautiful 2 year old daughter!

A month ago, Benafsha’s sister, brother-in-law, Mir, and niece arrived through the Jewish Refugee Program and moved in with them.  They found an apartment and Jaweed covered the first month’s rent and deposit, we were able to help them with the security deposit needed to get keys to their new home.  Then, Ramadan ended last week and after Eid, we filled their new home with beds, linens, table and chairs, bath and kitchen items. Jaweed helped Mir get a job at Tesla.

This story is not yet done as Benafsha’s parents, younger brother and sister arrived a week ago! Where will this story go next? Our Refugee Team is here to help, thatnks to your continuing generosity for these families.

4/19/23 One of the first families our Refugee Team helped was the Nazari family. The Nazari’s are close friends with the Shirzad family. For 10 years, Abdul Shirzad worked as a U.S. Army translator in Afghanistan; in Pittsburg he worked at a convenience store to support his family (wife and children ages 2, 8, 10, 12, and 13). Abdul was at work in the store on March 23  when three people entered the convenience store. They shot and killed Abdul, leaving the family terrified to stay in Pittsburg.                                                                                                                                                                                    The Pittsburg community secured an apartment for her in San Leandro and is assisting with rent, food, and other support. Last weekend, our Refugee Team helped the mother, Shila Shirzad, move closer to their friends, the Nazari’s. Thanks to the donations of our parishioners, we were able to cover the cost of moving the family to their new apartment. Please keep the Shirzad family in your thoughts and prayers.

10/1/22 The Mohamed Family arrived in Fremont in their 2 bedroom apartment on September 10, 2022. IRC supplied 3 twin bed mattresses and 1 full bed, some blankets, 2 stock pots, a few dishes and utensils, a table with 4 chairs and a dresser.  Mohamad and his 4 sons, aged 21, 17, 13 and 8 are settling in as best they can. While their father works, the oldest son, Sadar,  has learned to cook from You Tube and cares for the younger boys who are enrolled in schools. Where is mom? She and her 3 daughters and 2 younger sons are in Afghanistan waiting for passports.

Meanwhile, our Refugee Team pulled sheets, blankets and pillows, kitchen and bath supplies, a dresser and nightstand from the shed to add a bit of comfort and convenience to their lives. Thanks to a generous donor, we were also able to give them a computer and even some clothing to give the boys a little variety.

8/28/22  Nestor, Halyna and their son, Vasyl Roshko from Ukrania have settled in San Jose wading through red tape and government forms they need before they can get jobs and some financial support. Nestor worked in construction, Halyna taught english and Vasyl worked in technology.  They are all concerned about getting jobs here and grateful that we were able to help them get settled into their apartment with beds, linens, dishes, pots and pans, utensils and other basics donated.

7/26/22 There was a break in families around Easter until after the Mission 225 Festival June 11 & 12. We continued to collect donations and on June 30th we met Fardeen and his wife who have 4 children: 3 girls aged 1.5, 8 & 10 years old and a 6 year old son. We had beds, bedding, dressers, nightstands, a computer desk and complete kitchen and bathroom supplies for them. In Mid July we were asked to help 2 small families: Naqibullah and his wife have a 3 year old and Abdul Hakim and his wife are expecting a baby boy. Two families, even small ones, need basics for all rooms. International Rescue Committee (IRC) took the lead on Naqibullah’s apartment, but we were able to provide a sofa, nightstands, table & chairs and a TV stand. The Refugee Team provided an entire apartment for Hakim – kitchen and bathroom supplies, queen bed, mattress and bedding, loveseat, coffee table, lamps, nightstand, dresser, chairs and area rug. We are looking for a crib or travel bed for the new baby and car seat so they can safely bring him home.

4/18/22/ We were given a new family of six, the Sultan Family, at the end of March: father and mother, two children, grandma and aunt. A three bedroom apartment or home to rent was difficult to find, so after a month of hunting, they were scheduled to rent 2 one bedroom apartments.  Through the generosity of many, we were able to accept and store almost everything they would need as well as increase a few basic items in our shed for future recipients during that month. The date was set for them to sign a lease and pick up keys on Tuesday,April 12 – we would deliver beds, blankets, sheets, towels, kithenware, etc. on Wednesday.

But there was a change in plans Tuesday afternoon. The Sultan Family had been offered free rent for one year in a furnished home in Carmel! So, they do not need our assistance, but there are other IRC families who do not yet have homes that we will be called to help support when housing is found.

For now, we are ready for a new family. IRC will tell us when a one is ready. Thank you for your help in making this possible. We will share more when we know more.

2/27/22  We have been able to supply families with donated small items stored for just this purpose. However, our stored supplies are getting low. A quick inventory shows we need: laundry baskets, lamps, sets of dishes and utensils, rice cookers, coffee pots, 9×13 baking pans, measuring cups and spoons, small/medium & large sauce pans, cooking utensils and bath/hand & face towels. We also have had to purchase mattresses for beds. If you can supply any of these items, or make a donation to cover some of the costs, please contact Don Kaefer at or 510-427-3007. Please send items to the church office (43148 Mission Blvd.) if you purchase them online. We could not do this without the support of so many. Thank you!

2/20/22 Yesterday the Ahmad Farhad family took possession of their new apartment in Fremont. Through donations, we were able to provide most of their needs and from this website a laptop and lamps have been donated giving them access to the internet – job applications – and light for the apartment that only had a hall and bathroom ceiling lights.

1.22.2022  Our team has met with three families who are still looking for apartments. Because the families do not yet have housing, we are not sure what they will need. However we have been asked to find a coffee table for one family and another family is in need of a single or double baby stroller. If you have either of these items, please contact Don Kaefer.

12.27.2021  While Abubakar and Chakawa continue to search for a rental, our team is looking forward to meeting another family this week. Please continue to check this website for more information on our new family and how you can help.

12.13.2021 The Refugee Team met with a new Afghan family in preparation to look at apartments. Abdul and Chakawa have three children: two sons, Abubakar (13) and Shahil (11) and a 4 year old daughter, Aysha. Chakawa’s younger sister, Shaban , has also immigrated with them. They are looking at apartments and townhouses in Fremont and hope to finalize one with the help of IRC soon.

11.28.2021   Our recent Afghan family – Amanullah and Sabera , their daughters, Hadia (15), Behna (14), Hasti (11) and son, Kayarsh (6). Except for Kayarsh, they all speak English well and are ready to immerse themselves into the community. They have an apartment in Fremont, and thanks to monetary donations and items you shipped to us, they are comfortable in their new home. We will continue to work with them and IRC.

All these Afghan families continue to need our prayers for the safety of their relatives and friends who have not been able to leave the country.

Thanks to many donors and items donated from the parish, our Refugee Resettlement Team will be able to continue to help more families get settled into new homes in the Bay Area.

September 2021 we were able to support the following families:

A family of five (parents and three boys ages 3, 6 & 8) resides in a two bedroom apartment in Sunnyvale. We were able to provide basic home needs: kitchen table and chairs, pots, pans, utensils, dishes, bedroom linens, a sleeper sofa and TV and stand.

A family of six has settled in a two bedroom apartment in Fremont just a few blocks from the Hub. Zahedullah and Zaheer are twelve year old twins, Akseer is 8 and Rashid is 3.5 years old. Our team provided 2 sofas, dining table and chairs, computer, printer, computer table and rug, blankets, bedding, two bikes and bike helmets.

A family were set up in a small apartment with no kitchen in San Jose that proved too small for the family of five. We were able to help them find a larger apartment in Fremont and furnished it with donated dining table and chairs, two couches, TV and stand, a coffee table, rug, computer chair, dishes and kitchen items, bunk beds and linens and a king size bed with storage, TV and stand.

A young couple needed a couch and table. We were able to give them a sleeper couch, dining room set and lamp.

These are only four families who recently fled from Afghanistan. They have told us of family and friends still there: fathers and brothers who are hiding from the Taliban. Many worked for the United States in some capacity and are being hunted; others were judges and worked in the police force who sent Taliban prisoners to jail. Those released prisoners are now looking for those judges and police; and so many others who just want to get away from the Taliban rule that includes no education for girls and burkas for women.

Our team will continue to assist families from any country in the future through the International Refugee Committee (IRC). All refugees and immigrants are in need of our help and prayers.

“Let brotherly love continue.  Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers,

for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” Hebrews 13:1-2

To help these families with expenses, please make monetary donations payable to St. Joseph Parish with a memo to “The Refugee Committee”. If you would like to join the parish Refugee Resettlement Team, please contact Monica Trott at