In 2004, Said’s two brothers, 30 and 35, were driving when someone fired a rifle at them. The bullet passed through the jaws of the brother sitting in the passenger’s seat and then struck both hands of the brother who was driving. When the two injured brothers arrived at their parents’ home covered in blood, their father suffered a stroke. The long-term results of this pointless violence: Said’s father was paralyzed on his left side, one brother’s jaws are now locked and he survives on liquids through a straw; the other brother’s middle and index fingers on both hands are paralyzed—he cannot even button his shirt, let alone work.
It doesn’t end there. InSomalia, it never ends that easily. In December 2008, Said’s father was killed when Ethiopian soldiers attacked their neighborhood.
Said’s mother supports her family by selling milk in the city. Very early every day she takes a bus – transferring twice – to get to the country where she buys milk, then returns to the city again by bus. The cost of the fares and the milk leaves only a small profit to support her family after a long day’s work. Every day is a struggle.
Said set out for theUnited Stateswith the goal of getting a job, so he could support his family inSomalia. Instead—to his surprise—when he arrived inCalifornia, he was handcuffed, put in leg restraints and sent to aTexasdetention center because he had ‘no papers.’ “I did not realize I had to have papers,” he said. “What kind of papers?”
After spending several months in detention, Said was released and arrived at La Posada. We helped him get his social security card, identification and work permit. He now works part-time as La Posada’s cook. The pay is not much, but Said says his dreams are free—almost every night he dreams of becoming an American citizen and helping his family. He is willing to work to reach that goal.
Our shared purpose – yours and ours – is to help Said reach his dreams. Said is why La Posada is here. And when we have helped him, someone new will come with that same dream. Thanks to you, we will be here for every ‘Said’Providencesends our way.