New family from Afghanistan

A family of seven from Afghanistan is currently residing at First Place.  On August 23rd they spent their first night in the US at our refugee transitional home in Ardmore.  Latif, the husband and father in the family, had worked with the U. S. embassy and U.S. A.I.D. in Afghanistan for ten years before qualifying for refugee status.  The rest of the family includes his wife, Gul, daughters Arzoo (19), Pashtana (17), and Lema (12). Latif and Gul also have two sons; Basir (14) and Nasir (10). They are happy to receive visitors during the short time they will be in Ardmore.  Their refugee resettlement agency (Bethany) plans to find them a permanent home in Northeast Philadelphia.

Sturgis Poorman, First Place Task Force

A new family!

A family of five from the Asian country of Bhutan arrived at First Place yesterday! They are part of a Hindu ethnic community that has been persecuted by the Bhutanese government for many years. The family consists of a father, a mother, two daughters and a granddaughter. Please pray for their smooth adjustment to life in our country. May we be led to welcome them openly in Christ's name. 

Sturgis Poorman, First Place Task Force

New guests!

Our new guests at First Place are Maroof(34), Azahl(30), and Taqwa(17 month old girl). They are from Afghanistan where Maroof was an interpreter. Maroof and Azahl are university graduates and speak English well. While their resettlement agency (HIAS) helps them find permanent housing, Maroof and Azalh will be exploring job possibilities in Philadelphia and along the Main Line.  Both of them have experience as teachers and have strong resumes.  As always, any leads for jobs will be gratefully received. They welcome folks to stop by and greet them.

Update from Sturgis

We have now completed a month of our new ministry.  Hayder, an Iraqi refugee who is a former interpreter for the US military, has been a resident at First Place for all of that time.  Job prospects are steadily coming in and Hayder is submitting his applications.  Hayder’s goal, as well as ours, is that he will have steady full-time employment before seeks a more permanent housing arrangement.

The task force is working as well to begin fundraising. These funds are to assist with the cost of the lease and the accompanying costs for the first year. The 2017 budget for First Place assumes $4,000 in private donations. By March 1st of this year we had received $589 of that total.

To meet our goal, we can now accommodate on-line giving and we are planning a jazz concert as a fundraiser on October 8th of this year. If anyone has other ideas or resources, we would love to hear about it, please contact us at 610-547-2330.

Sturgis Poorman, First Place Task Force coordinator

Latest update on First Place

Despite last weeks’ executive order, which terminated nearly all refugee admissions until July 16, 2017, First Place plans to remain occupied with refugees.  First Place is located on Sheas Terrace in Ardmore and is a local mission project established by Ardmore Presbyterian Church, with assistance from St. George’s Episcopal Church.  It provides temporary and emergency housing for refugees in the Philadelphia area.  During the next four months there is still the possibility of receiving refugees who, like our current resident, Hayder, have been interpreters for the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Such people are evidently not included in the current refugee ban.  We are also open to receiving refugees already living in the Philadelphia region who are in inadequate housing and need a place to stay while they explore more suitable housing arrangements. Given the current hiatus in refugee arrivals, however, we have told Hayder he is able to stay at First Place for another month.  This will give him a better chance to secure employment in the western suburbs and to save some money to put down on the rental of a studio apartment.  If other military interpreters from Iraq or Afghanistan come in over the next few weeks, Hayder says he will be pleased to have them join him at First Place.  Please pray that God’s will for those fleeing their countries can be accomplished through this mission.


Sturgis Poorman

First Place task force coordinator

Update on our first resident

After his first full week in the U.S., Hayder, a refugee from Iraq, is feeling more and more comfortable at First Place and in his Ardmore surroundings.  While he admits to having been very nervous during his first few days here, Hayder has now been made to feel very welcomed by the many visits from APC members and friends.  The next immediate tasks for Hayder are to find work, find a permanent room or apartment, and to get his drivers license.  He will have assistance in these from Mohammad, his Bethany Refugee Services case manager and from us here at APC.  Members from St. George’s Episcopal Church in Ardmore have also agreed to partner with us in helping Hayder or whomever we have as guests at First Place.  We thank God that this young man, who had been the target of serious threats in Iraq because of the assistance he gave to US troops, has now found safety here in Ardmore.

Sturge Poorman, First Place Task Force Coordinator

Our first resident is here!

We are blessed to have our first resident here at First Place! He moved in Monday night, February 13th. He is from Iraq and, like all the refugees who come, has been subject to a lengthy (2 1/2 year) vetting process.  He has employment documents from the US that allow him to work immediately.  He speaks English well.  If anyone has a lead on a job please let us know.

We are very excited to welcome our friend and neighbor into our community! Stay tuned for updates and keep our mission in your prayers. 

 The kitchen

The kitchen

 Living room area

Living room area

Move in day is near!

We are excited to prepare the residence for an individual arriving next week! We will be moving furniture in this weekend and sprucing up the house for our arriving guest. A crew from APC will be moving large furniture into the house on Saturday, Feb. 11th.  The individual we are welcoming is likely only to stay in the house very briefly and a new family will be arriving soon so we hope that the home will continue to be a happy and welcoming First Place for refugees in our community.