What FamilyWorks Means To Me

Content Warning: This story contains a description of war and gun violence.

Somalia is a place of war and turmoil. It is where dreams are taken away because of civil war. Everyone in the country is affected by it, including elders, young people, and babies. War destroys safety most of all, but also education, jobs, health, and good income.

In my case, even though I had my safety, I lost my best friend, Foos, who was 13. She was buying bread at the bakery one day when she came across two armed men fighting. A bullet was accidentally fired at Foos and she died on the scene. Upon hearing this news, I was scared, and went into a kind of limbo. Because I believed risk creates opportunity, I decided to come to the US.

After I came to the US, my life improved dramatically, more than I had hoped for at first. I moved to Seattle in 2007 from Atlanta, Georgia. Moving to Seattle, I didn’t know anyone and felt empty. At that time, I found FamilyWorks because it was close to where I lived. During this time, I had my daughter and son with me. I joined the local playgroup at FamilyWorks and started going there with my kids.

13 years later, I still connect with FamilyWorks, and they helped me to find good schools for my now four kids. My kids are now all in advanced learning classes and are doing well in school. FamilyWorks has always been a safe, non-judgmental place for me.

They provided me with so much support, mentally & emotionally. I feel a strong sense of family and love giving back to my community. Now, I have been hired at FamilyWorks and work as a Community Connector. I’m so proud to work at FamilyWorks, and everyone here is kind and caring, and wants to meet the needs of the community.

We’re finding ways to help the community during this difficult time, like opening our Community Closet which offers shoes, clothes, toys, & home goods that families can access twice a week. We also offer many other services such as our free diaper program and referrals to other resources.

In conclusion, I’ve survived for 30 years in the US because of my community. We need to be strong and resilient during this difficult time in our country; I’m sure things will get better as long as we help each other.

– Anisa