Shrewsbury team prepares to welcome Sudanese family

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Shrewsbury team prepares to welcome Sudanese family
Annette Shine, Sanam Zaer and Preeti Kumble prepare to welcome a family from Sudan to Shrewsbury. (Photo/Laura Hayes)

SHREWSBURY – A Shrewsbury team is preparing to welcome a family of five coming from Sudan.

The non-profit human service organization Ascentria Care Alliance partners with communities and organizations to form a Neighborhood Support Team, including the Shrewsbury group A Better Shrewsbury.

A Better Shrewsbury Neighborhood Support Team was in the middle of their training when Ascentria shared that they had a family for the team.

This was right before the holiday season. The team helped find a house for the family, furnished it, purchased winter clothes and filled the kitchen.

“We actually put everything together within less than a week,” said member Preeti Kumble.

Though the family lives in Worcester, the Shrewsbury team was able to help get everything up and running.

This will be the first Shrewsbury-specific family, said member Sanam Zaer.

The Sudanese family arrived on Feb. 15 and is made up of a 14-, 11-, 18-, 22-year-old and a mother. The family will be temporarily moving into the Days Inn, but the team is looking for affordable housing options.

“This family has ties in Shrewsbury already, which was a nice transition because we were hoping to actually help someone settle here with the overarching goal of pushing for more affordable housing and resources in our town,” said Zaer.

The primary way that the community can help support this family is through a financial donation to offset the rent. The team is looking for an affordable house with either two- or three-bedrooms for the family.

Additionally, the team has put together an Amazon wishlist for the family, containing household items like pillows and kitchen dishes and silverware. Kumble noted that the family will also need furniture once they find a home.

Once the family comes to Shrewsbury, the team will look to integrate them in the community, such as help them get jobs, drive, and connect and accompany them to various resources.

“All human beings, regardless of their circumstances, are deserving of housing, and that’s really what’s driving our team,” said Zaer.

She noted that cities like Boston, Worcester, Framingham, Springfield and Lowell were welcoming all of the refugees coming to Massachusetts.

“Towns and suburbs — we can sit here all day and say, ‘Refugees are welcome in the U.S. We love refugees,’ but until we build that capacity in our suburbs, we’re really just saying that with words, not with actions,” said Zaer.

A Better Shrewsbury NST’s Amazon wishlist can be found at https://www.amazon.com/registries/custom/1U69XYP1K6T9X/guest-view. Financial donations can be made at https://secure.givelively.org/donate/ascentria-care-alliance/help-afghan-families/a-better-shrewsbury

To help join the team or if you have information about potential housing, email [email protected]

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