Sioux Falls: New Refugees Learn How to Live in Apartments without Damaging Them
Print Friendly and PDF

The more diverse the refugees, the more help they require from well paid refugee settlement experts. If newbies could just move in and get going, then there would be no need for a taxpayer-funded Refugee Industrial Complex to instruct primitive tribal people how to use electric lights, stoves and a host of other gizmos common to normal modern life. (See an earlier attempt in quickie cultural integration: “Cliff Notes Assimilation for Somalis.”)

The situation described here focuses on Nepalis in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, population 153,888 as of 2010 census. The city has unfortunately been designated as a dump zone by the government, with 51 languages spoken in city schools.

Anyway, why does Washington admit Nepali people when that country has thousands of refugees from Tibet and Bhutan? Is Nepal getting too diverse, so America must relieve tribal discomfort? At least with Syrians, the suffering is obvious — but that’s no excuse to admit thousands of hostile Muslims. Refugees should be resettled in similar cultures, not jammed into a totally alien environment by resettlers looking for a steady paycheck.

These days, the refugee/asylum conduit is just another way to funnel big-government immigrants into the US.

Today’s sermon in do-goodery is instruction in the operation of a normal first-world apartment. The article notes in a later paragraph that faucets and stoves have been broken by refugees who don’t know how to use them. Your tax dollars at work, presumably, since the churches involved get paid for their services, apparently Lutherans in this case.

The photo below shows Somali refugees learning the fine points of boiling water on a stove in Kenya prior to their shipment to America. These days, newbie education often occurs in the US, more convenient for refugee resettlement employees.

Plus, the kiddies learn fire alarms aren’t toys and that they shouldn’t play in the parking lot.

Programs help immigrants understand kitchens in US, Associated Press, March 23, 2014

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The problems refugees face after relocating in Sioux Falls are relatively mundane compared to what they faced at home.

But an unfamiliarity with household appliances and cleaners, for example, is a real hurdle. A new housing orientation program by one of the city’s largest property management companies is explaining these everyday necessities.

More refugees are coming to Sioux Falls every year, and with them come different cultures.

“We’ve got to embrace it,” said Tannen Loge, vice president of property management for Lloyd Cos., which has more than 3,000 apartments in Sioux Falls. “It’s very important that we provide housing for individuals that feels like their home.”

The company launched an educational program this year that teaches all about how to live in an apartment. The program springboards from a similar class the city’s Multi-Cultural Center put together about a year and a half ago.

Dhan Gagamer was one of about 20 participants in the first program in January, held in an empty unit of an apartment complex, where 80 percent of residents are immigrants. Gagamer lives with her husband and their two young daughters at that complex on the city’s east side. They left Nepal in 2010 and settled in Sioux Falls with help from Lutheran Social Services.

In Nepal, the family lived in a house. Unlike Gagamer’s childhood home in a Bhutanese village, it had electric lights, but the family cooked over a fire. They didn’t recognize the electric stove they encountered in Sioux Falls.

Christy Nicolaisen, executive director of the Multi-Cultural Center, said a good chunk of time in January was spent explaining the electric stove. Three African refugees attended the first class, and none of them had used an electric stove or a dishwasher in their three to five years in the United States.

“Some things will sink in immediately. Some things are so new and different,” Nicolaisen said. “Our ultimate goal is that they’re happy in the places they live in.”

The class also covered food storage, which type of soap to use in the dishwasher and which cleaning chemicals they shouldn’t mix. They also covered the importance of not letting their children play in the parking lots or pull fire alarms.

This fiscal year, 400 refugees will resettle in Sioux Falls through a federal program.

Lutheran Social Services serves those people and provides an orientation of its own. Using the Safety Village at the W.H. Lyon Fairgrounds, the 12-day course covers everything from U.S. currency to using a thermostat.

“The housing orientation plays a critical role for a successful integration into the community,” said Tim Jurgens, the director of Lutheran Social Services. He commended Lloyd Cos. for developing its own program because ongoing education is important, he said.

Lloyd’s program is tailored to some of the problems tenants and landlords experience at their properties.

Sometimes, it’s electric stove burners or faucets that need to be replaced again and again because tenants don’t know how to use them properly. Some complexes have problems with cockroaches and bed bugs. The program talks about how to deal with the pests to keep them from spreading.

The instructors covered safety issues, such as what to do if there’s a power outage or tornado warning. They also talked about home maintenance, energy savings and being a good neighbor by keeping noise down and common areas clean.

“They pay good money to live in a home, and we want to provide that good home,” Loge said. “We’re making progress.”

He hopes to provide the classes once a month.

Jim Schmidt began putting together an orientation program years ago when he was president of the Multi-Cultural Center.

“We recognized that a lot of complaints were coming from landlords,” said Schmidt, now executive director of Sioux Empire Housing Partnership.

It wasn’t necessarily that renters were bad, he said, it was a cultural situation.

“If you’re truly going to embrace the new Americans, they’re going to have to move into virtually any area of our city . and they should become neighbors to all of us,” he said.

Print Friendly and PDF