ICNA Relief Teams Up with Broward County, FL to Repair Homes for Senior Citizens
ICNA Relief Florida team met with Commissioner of Broward County Dale Holness last week. He learned about our community service projects and about the number of awards we received. Commissioner Holness offered to work with us for a project called " Beautifying our Community." The county has many senior citizens who can't afford to fix their homes because of financial or physical hardship. So InshahAllah this April ICNA Relief Florida and Broward county will team up to start helping out these senior citizens.
InshahAllah the county will provide all the material and approval permits needed to do the work and we ICNA Relief will provide all the skiled and non-skilled volunteers.
ICNA Relief Opening New Women's Shelter in Illinois This May
Recently, community leaders came together to help make a transitional housing unit, or ICNA Relief's women shelter, a reality in Chicago.
“As a former Muslim Society Inc. (MSI) Board Member, I have been involved in Zakat distribution for the past 20 years. We get at least two calls a month from women and families, including refugees, who are facing eviction or seeking shelter. In the winter, the demand is even higher. Other masjids may get more calls from others," said Br. Mohammad Misbahuddin of Glendale Heights, IL.
“There was a sister who had been living in her car, with her baby, for two weeks when we came to know of her situation through others. She didn’t even approach us herself,” said Br. Misbahuddin. “This was one case that really made me think about the need for a long term solution. There are a lot of Muslim families who hesitate to approach Masjids,” he said. “They feel their situation will be exposed. These services have to be separate so people feel comfortable.”
Currently, area masjids such as MSI, Masjid Al Huda, Islamic Center of Naperville (ICN), Islamic Center of Des Plaines (ICCD) and Islamic Foundation Mosque (IFS), share information related to temporary housing requests and pool zakat to collectively pay for accommodation at a local long-term motel or towards rent for an apartment. “A lot of times, we receive cases of eviction - people who've lost their jobs. We pay electricity and heating directly to ComEd and Nicor. We give rental assistance directly to the landlord,” said Br. Misbahuddin.
Advocating for long-term solutions he says,“We need something of our own where we can situate these families for two-three months. Provide shelter but also help them find a job and offer counseling. ICNA Relief offers that,” he added. “Instead of duplicating efforts, local masjids can pitch in and help the ICNA Relief Transitional Housing project be successful.”
A Collaborative Beginning
In May 2015, ICNA Relief Chicago will launch its first transitional housing apartment in Glendale Heights, IL. “ICNA Relief representatives met with Glendale Heights Village officials who suggested we identify a 4-6 multi-family housing apartment unit, for transitional housing. In the mean time, the Village has give us permission to rent apartments for that, so long as we have permission from the respective associations. There is a dire need and, mashallah, we are on track to meeting it, God willing,” says Dr. Saima Azfar, Director, ICNA Relief Chicago
This will build on ICNA Relief ‘s transitional housing initiatives currently underway in Chicago. “In the last 7 months, we have served two families comprising divorcees with children for six months each, housing them in an apartment rented as transitional housing in Chicago. Alhumdolillah, we also provided rental assistance for eleven families for one to six months each. This was made possible thanks to the collaboration of 10 mosques including MSI, ICW, ICN, Alhuda, ICCD, MCC, MEC, IFS, IFN and ISNS” says Dr. Saima Azfar, Director ICNA Relief Chicago.
Houston Food Pantry Feeds the Hungry in Honor of Our Three Winners
Alhamdulillah, this past Saturday at the ICNA Relief food pantry in Houston we had our monthly Feed The Hungry/Serve the Students/Food Pantry Management Event, which was dedicated to Our Three Winners: Deah, Yusor, and Razan.
Their story has inspired many and in their remembrance, we distributing hygiene kits along with the usual hot meals, snacks, and water this time around.
Br. Waqar Mehmood was our guest speaker and he spoke to us about the importance of volunteering and about our Muslim identity and responsibilities in this coutnry. Our Feed The Hungry program continues every single week insha'Allah, and we would love for you to participate.
Please consider contributing to the food pantry and our projects or just volunteering your time to serve the community.
The food pantry is located at 5645 Hillcroft Ave #405 Houston, TX 77036 and pantry hours are through and Saturday from 12-2PM or by appointment.
JazakAllah khair to those who joined us and we look forward to your continued involvement, insha'Allah!