Refugees are people fleeing violence and persecution—in Syria, Iraq, Somalia, and other countries in crisis. They are seeking safety and the chance to move their lives forward. Most refugees are women and children.
Each year about 70,000 political, economic and otherwise endangered refugees are legally admitted to the United States. They leave their homes and the life they once knew behind, seeking safety in a vastly unknown world. Often they possess little more than their names. As soon as they come to our country, a whole new set of challenges and difficulties lie ahead of them.
Utah receives 1,000-1,100 refugees each year. Recent data is showing that there are approximately 60,000 refugees living in Utah, most in Salt Lake County. Each is unique, but all have fled dire circumstances. Utah, refugees are greeted by a caseworker, taken to housing, and immediately submerged in fast-paced society far removed from familiar traditions and culture. Even the smallest tasks, from turning on a light to experiencing running water in their own homes, can be mystifying.