Members of the refugee project committee and their families are collecting furnishings for an apartment to house a refugee family on Syracuse’s North Side.
continued Dina DeSorbo was involved in the program ten years ago and is excited to be a part of it once again. She says it’s a great way for Manlius residents to connect with the city of Syracuse and meet people with very diverse opinions and beliefs.
“I think sometimes people in Manlius get caught in their own little bubble, but there’s so much more going on out there that it’s a great way for us to connect with the North Side and the city,” DeSorbo said.
She said the main reason that refugees are settled on Syracuse’s North Side (as opposed to in Manlius) is because of the vast amount of resources available to them there. Because they won’t have a car, they’ll have to walk to the CYO for many of their services- ESL classes, to see their social worker and to register their children for school. Additionally, she says there are many grocery stores on the North Side that cater to specific cultures and that the family may feel more comfortable shopping there.
The church volunteers have already gathered about 90 percent of what they think they’ll need for the apartment and hope to be finished by April 27 and have the family move in during the first week of May. DeSorbo says that even though they were instructed to prepare the apartment for a family of five, they won’t know anything about the family until just before they move in.
“You really have no idea what the family is going to look like until a few days before they arrive,” DeSorbo said. “They give you guidelines to get five beds and five chairs, but at the last minute you may find out you’re getting a family of eight or ten. It’s kind of a scramble at the end.”