As Seattle's first social realtor, every sale with Chapman Homes helps a person in need at no additional cost to you. See how it works HERE
Congrats to my clients, it was such a pleasure helping them find a home! This couple came to me after making 9 offers on homes with another realtor and striking out every time. They then hired me and I talked them through my strategy and I was able to help them land their dream home in about a week. Thanks to their home purchase, they helped empower Mamadou and his family through the work of World Relief.
After spending months in the ICE Processing Center in Tacoma, petitioning his asylum case, Mamadou still had more waiting to do.
A federal judge had granted him asylum, and he was now free to start his new life here in America, but a significant part of his life wasn't whole: he was still separated from his family and unsure of their safety.
Mamadou had fled political persecution in his country after a political gathering at his home was violently dispersed: As Mamadou describes it, the two pickup trucks that showed up to the gathering were “full of police and soldiers armed to the teeth...”
They opened fire on the crowd, and as the protestors ran, a soldier delivered a violent punch to Mamadou’s, wife who was six months pregnant.
According to him, it was only “good luck” that helped him escape. But as police continued to search for him for days, he knew he had to make an impossible choice: staying in his country as a targeted political dissident meant he would undoubtedly face torture - and the possibility of death. Fleeing, meant leaving behind his young daughter and wife. It was a choice that nobody should have to make.
Mamadou’s desperation took him halfway around the globe as he made the dangerous journey to the US to request asylum, without any guarantee of the outcome. His flight to safety is similar to the journey of the asylum seekers currently at the border that are being shown on the news right now. Their stories are often politicized rather than understood as a complex choice made by people in desperate situations.
This global crisis becomes a local reality when people like Mamadou turn themselves in at the border asking for asylum. They are then handcuffed and transported up I-5 to the detention center in Tacoma, WA. Mamadou spent 11 months in detention before winning his case and being granted the protection of the US. But like many asylees, when Mamadou walked out the back door of the detention center, although free, he had nothing:
No place to sleep
And no next steps.
That’s when World Relief Seattle met Mamadou.
Through our asylee resettlement program, World Relief is able to literally meet asylees at the back door of detention centers as they’re released and accompany them for the next 6 months, providing crucial resources and services as they rebuild their life.
With the help of World Relief’s housing coordinator, Mamadou was able to secure a safe and affordable apartment which he shared with other new asylees, despite a lack of rental history. His caseworker helped him secure a social security card, employment authorization, a Washington state ID, and enroll in health insurance. He joined World Relief’s English class and was soon able to hold conversation in English with native speakers…and even make jokes in this new language! He also worked hard, with the support of a World Relief employment specialist, to find his first job in the US and started saving up money to do the most important thing for him: reunite with his family.
Today, Mamadou has been promoted to the engineering department at his job, he owns a car, pays his share in taxes, is preparing to apply for citizenship, and is helping other asylees get connected to World Relief as they rebuild their lives.
But most importantly, Mamadou is re-building home:
After working with World Relief’s immigration legal clinic, navigating complex forms and after much waiting…Mamadou was finally able to drive to SeaTac Airport to welcome his family to America. He got to hold his family at last, meet the daughter his wife was carrying when he had to leave, hug his wife after 4 long years, and take them all home, knowing that they all were safe.
Their journey is not over though: With the support of World Relief, Mamadou’s wife and daughters are learning English, their caseworker is helping them navigate the paperwork and systems that come with resettlement, his spouse recently started her first job in the US, and the whole family is working together to build a new community of friends and neighbors.
Thank you for helping us welcome and support newcomers like Mamadou and his family. Together, we are working to build a more welcoming community for all.
Matthew Chapman works hard to make your home buying or selling experience enjoyable and gives part of every commission to help a person in need.