Fort Worth A Single SIV case from Afghanistan

As someone who works with the U.S. Army, many in my home city did not approve of my employment. I received threats that caused me to worry about whether I could be safe in Afghanistan. Through the Embassy, I obtained contact information from a friend who previously was resettled in Fort Worth, Texas and learned about Refugee Services of Texas. I really believe from what I've been told that they will be able to help me, so I begin to sell belongings and save up for a flight to the United States.

I was able to sell enough of my belongings to obtain a $1,300 flight to the United States. As I arrive at the DFW airport, everything outside is dark because it is so late in the night. I know that I must immediately apply for my Green Card, so I make that my main priority upon exiting the plane. After applying for my Green Card, my friend that I had contacted met me at the airport and took me to his apartment where I was able to sleep on his couch. I am so thankful for his generosity and help.

The next day, my friend wakes me up early so that we can go to the Social Security office to apply for my Social Security card. The process take a while, but finally we are done and I collect the receipt because I know I absolutely cannot forget or lose that.

My friend takes me to the RST office next. At the RST office, I meet the Social Adjustment Services, or SAS, Case Manager and begin filling out a profile form to approve RST as an authorized representative. The Case Manager makes copies of my Visa and passport. Next, the Case Manager and I apply for public benefits: food stamps, Medicaid and Cash Assistance, which is why I needed to keep my social security receipt. Thanks to my SAS Case Manager, I also complete intake for ESL and Employment in addition to applying to enter me into the Resettlement and Placement Program. Before I leave, I make an appointment to come back in 2 weeks to undergo intake and orientation with the SAS Case Manager.

Two weeks later, I find out that I have been approved for Food Stamps and Medicaid. With this good news, I head back to the RST office so I can do my intake with the SAS Case Manager. When I enter the room, to my surprise, I am greeted by other single SIV individuals that are from Iraq and Afghanistan. I undergo orientation, delighted to know there are others here in the United States like me, and in the Fort Worth area. At the end of the orientation, the SAS Case Manager informs the room that they were able to get two three-bedroom apartments that collectively we may share until the rest of some of their families come. I know I cannot continue to sleep on my friend's couch, so I move into one of the apartments with two other people.

By the next week, I am fully moved into my new apartment and learning the different ways to buy food, navigate the bus system, and spending my time getting to know my roommates. All of my roommates work at a local meat packing factory and offer to help get me a job there. I definitely need to start working, so I accept their offer and thank them for their help.

By the fourth week, I am accepted into the Resettlement and Placement Program (R&P), so I return to the RST office in order to undergo intake for R&P Services. I now have a new Case Manager under this new program and new steps in the process. With my new Case Manager, I undergo a home visit and attend an appointment with the health department. This step is the final transition for me at RST and means I am on the path of becoming completely self-sufficient here in Fort Worth.

Credits:

Created with images by skeeze - "stagecoach horses western" • Grant Wickes - "DFW Airport American Airlines Checkin Photo i069 by Grant Wickes" • marlenedd - "New office" • Photo-Mix - "house keys key the door castle the" • guruscotty - "holt-lunsford_188"

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