Posts Tagged ‘bhutanese’
Posted by Christopher Coen on April 23, 2013
An apartment complex in Columbus where refugee resettlement agencies placed refugees because of low rental rates is riddled with 63 code violations. A Nepali-Bhutanese refugee who lives in a unit with his family says his unit was plagued with bedbugs last year and said he was worried about his family’s safety. Another Nepali-Bhutanese refugee said the staircases are broken and lights don’t work. Community Refugee and Immigration Services and World Relief Columbus stopped placing refugees in the complex after last year’s fire publicity, but have not evacuated the other refugees to better housing despite the extensive code violations. The units are poorly maintained, have bedbugs and roaches, leaky and defective plumbing and electrical problems, according to an inspection report. I think this case case shows the wisdom of placing refugees only according to rental unit prices while ignoring basic safety, repair and habitability issues which, by the way, are violations of the State Department refugee contracts. Will the State Department be taking any action against its refugee contractors in Columbus? I’ll believe it when I see it. An article in The Columbus Dispatch has the details of this story:
Columbus prosecutors say that a North Side apartment complex that rents to scores of refugees is riddled with code violations that owners have ignored for months.
Prosecutors filed a complaint yesterday with Franklin County Environmental Court against Summit Park Apartments. The complaint says a code-enforcement inspector has found 63 violations since September.
The inspection report said multiple units were poorly maintained, had bedbugs and roaches, leaky and defective plumbing and electrical problems…
In three inspections since November, building inspectors found wooden balconies that had deteriorated to the point that they were unsafe. The inspections also determined that concrete and steel balconies there must be evaluated and repaired…
… In August, families from Bhutan, Somalia and other countries were displaced after fire ravaged one of the buildings, at 4349 Walford St. The fire started in a fenced-in storage area that had been filled with furniture.
Fire investigators said it was arson. At least two refugee agencies, , have not placed anyone at the complex since then.
“They still had code violations that hadn’t got taken care of that got worse after the fire,” said Kay Lipovsky, office manager for World Relief Columbus.
Agencies place refugees at complexes such as Summit Park because rents are inexpensive, she said.
One resident, Yam Subba, a Bhutanese Nepali refugee who lives in a unit with his wife, their 2-year-old daughter and his mother, said his unit was plagued with bedbugs last year. Subba, 28, said he was worried about his family’s safety.
Another Bhutanese Nepali refugee, Moti Rai, who lives in a unit with his father, said the staircases are broken and lights don’t work. Still, Rai, 27, said he lived in a small hut in a refugee camp in Bhutan. “I think this is better than that.”… Read more here
Posted in apartment building fires, bed bugs, Columbus, Community Refugee and Immigration Services (CRIS), Community Refugee and Immigration Services (CRIS), housing, housing, substandard, Nepali Bhutanese, safety, World Relief | Tagged: bedbugs, bhutanese, code violations, Columbus, Community Refugee and Immigration Services, nepalese, roaches, slum lord, Summit Park Apartments, World Relief | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Christopher Coen on October 31, 2012
Students from Concord High School rallied yesterday in support of the refugees targeted with abuse last week. An article in the Concord Monitor has the details:
Roughly 50 Concord High School students, faculty and staff rallied yesterday at the home of recent refugee immigrants who received racist letter last week.
“We know that Concord is way better than that,” said Hema Gautam, a Concord High senior and one of the rally organizers. “There is so much more love here than hate.”
“We are working really, really hard on this point that this is America and there is no discrimination here. We are all human beings. We just want to be equal,” said Raman Sandhu, another senior and event organizer.
The students welcomed the family members, who found two anonymous notes on their door telling them to leave America… Read more here
Posted in hate crimes, Nepali Bhutanese, New Hampshire, xenophobia/nationalism/isolationism | Tagged: bhutanese, concord, high school students, rally, refugees, resettlement | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Christopher Coen on October 25, 2012
Another case of insulting notes have been left at the home of another refugee family in Concord. The notes said that the refugee family members are “inconsiderate assholes” who receive everything for free and that they needed help getting kicked out of their apartment. Similar threatening notes were left in August and last September. The refugees also report that groups of young people will sometimes throw stones at them when they turn their backs, and that people sometimes block the doors to the buildings or the landings of the stairways, and tell the immigrants they need to pay $5 or $10 to pass. An article in the Concord Monitor has the story:
Two notes insulting immigrants and refugees were left taped to the door of a family of Bhutanese refugees, the third incident of racist notes on refugee homes in Concord since September 2011…
The notes were left taped to their door in an apartment building on Eastern Avenue – one on Sunday and one on Monday. One was shorter and written in marker; the other filled an 8-by-11-inch white paper, and was written in pen.
They said, among other things, that the Gurung family members are “inconsiderate assholes” who receive everything for free.
Written as if by the Gurungs, one of the notes said, “help us get kicked out of our apartment”…
This is the third incident of racist notes left for recent refugee immigrants to Concord. In September 2011 and August this year, notes appeared written in black marker on several homes in the South End.
The same detective is working on this case, and his initial assessment is that it is not related, said Concord police Lt. Timothy O’Malley…
Other minority residents from the complex warned him groups of young white people will sometimes throw stones at them when their backs are turned, Lal Gurung said.
People also sometimes block the doors to the buildings or the landings of the stairways, and tell the immigrants they need to pay $5 or $10 to pass, he said.
The bullying can be especially prominent in the mornings and afternoons as refugee children go to and from their school bus stop, he said...
Tips on the case can be shared anonymously by calling 226-3100, by visiting the Crimeline website, or by texting TIP234 and sending a message to CRIMES. Read more here
Posted in hate crimes, Nepali Bhutanese, New Hampshire, xenophobia/nationalism/isolationism | Tagged: bhutanese, concord, nepalese, Nepali, notes, refugees, resettlement | 2 Comments »
Posted by Christopher Coen on October 8, 2012
A refugee from Nepal barely escaped with their lives from an early morning apartment building fire in Phoenix. An article and video report at Fox 10 News has the details:
PHOENIX – A fire destroyed an apartment building early Sunday morning near 27th Avenue and Indian School Road.
Fire fighters arrived at the Willow Springs apartment complex around 2:30 a.m. The charred skeleton of the building left behind shows just how out of control that fire got.
Crews rushed into the inferno, a two alarm fire that had everyone on high alert.
“It was hot, it caught the first and then the second the third and the roof and jumped over,” said Dan Garcia, a witness.
“Real orange, about six feet tall big, it didn’t take long for that to go up,” said Michael Williams, a witness…
As many as 10 units were affected and nearly 30 people were displaced and forced to spend the night at a make shift Red Cross shelter.
Lek Ghaley and his family, refugees from Napal, barely escaped with their lives.
“The fire was there, I was here, I was trying to end the fire but I can’t,” said Ghaley.
Smoke was everywhere said Lek’s dad, who lost everything but his green card and documents.
“We had people trapped on the third floor, the guys were able to knock the fire down [and] get them down the stairs ,” said Captain Scott McDonald, with the Phoenix Fire Department.
McDonald said four children under the age of 5 were taken to a nearby hospital for smoke inhalation as a precaution… Read more here
Posted in apartment building fires, Nepali Bhutanese, Phoenix | Tagged: bhutanese, fire, nepalese, Nepali, Phoenix, refugees, resettlement | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Christopher Coen on August 21, 2012
Dozens of Bhutanese refugees living at a Columbus apartment complex have been displaced following a fire on Monday evening. A blurb at WSYX ABC-6 News explains:
COLUMBUS — No one was physically injured during an intense blaze at Summit Park Apartments Monday evening. For some however, the fire reminded them of what’s now considered their “past life.”
“About 500 homes,” Laxmi Acharay recalled. “All of us, 500 homes gone at once.”
Acharay is one of dozens who now live at the apartment complex who came to Columbus from a Bhutanese refugee camp in Nepal…
Three dozen homes had to be evacuated as Columbus Firefighters battled the flames.
Acharay’s apartment was untouched by the flames. He’s thankful he won’t have to completely relive the nightmare that once left him homeless in another country. Read more here
The Columbus Dispatch reports that the fire was an arson:
…No injuries were reported in the fire, which started in a fenced-in storage area filled with old furniture next to the apartment building at 4349 Walford St. Investigators say it was arson, Columbus Fire Battalion Chief Michael Fowler said, although they don’t know yet how it was set… Read more here
Posted in apartment building fires, Columbus, housing, Nepali Bhutanese, Somali | Tagged: bhutanese, Columbus, fire, nepalese, Nepali, refugees, resettlement | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Christopher Coen on June 19, 2012
Last October police shot to death a man who struggled with them after trying to rob a Nepali Bhutanese refugee at a low-income North Side apartment complex where local resettlement agencies have placed them. Another media look into the situation at the apartment complexes shows that many refugees’ apartments have been burglarized since they began to arrive in the Columbus area four years ago. People also walk up to them and ask for money, with some refugees handing over cash just so they’ll be left alone and then not reporting the incidents to police. The article, however, also gives a clue about police-community relations by noting that police arrested a Nepali Bhutanese refugee for littering when he merely dropped a store receipt outside a convenience store. (Arrested for littering?) An article in The Columbus Dispatch has the story:
When Narayan Sharma returned to his North Side apartment on June 6, he was stunned to discover that someone had broken in.
He said he was shocked that the thieves apparently had no fear of being caught when they hauled out his 42-inch television, a laptop computer, a checkbook and cash during the daytime burglary.
Crime, Sharma said, was not a big problem during his 16 years in a refugee camp in the Himalayan country of Nepal. But it’s something he and other Bhutanese Nepali refugees have had to deal with since they began to arrive in the Columbus area four years ago.
One of the reasons is where many of them live — concentrated in several apartment complexes near Morse Road in the Northland area.
“Our expectation is to have safety and security,” said Bhim Basnet, who lives in the Breckenridge Apartments with his wife and four children, the oldest a 16-year-old girl, the youngest a 9-month-old son…
…He said he would like to see police patrolling the area. Community leaders and groups who work with the refugees estimate that their number has grown to more than 2,000 in little more than a year.
Sharma said that a number of refugees’ apartments have been burglarized and that people walk up to the refugees and ask for money. Some refugees hand over cash just so they’ll be left alone, said Damaru Adhikari, who works at the US Together refugee-resettlement agency.
Sharma…said: “They find easy targets, and people don’t complain.”
On Feb. 29, a 35-year-old Bhutanese Nepali refugee was arrested for littering outside a North Side convenience store. He said he dropped a receipt.
The charge, a third-degree misdemeanor, ultimately was dismissed, but the man had to pay $92 in court costs.
The incident “really scared” him, said his attorney, Edward Forman. “I can’t imagine in a million years he would be arrested for that.”… Read more here
Posted in Columbus, Community Refugee and Immigration Services (CRIS), Community Refugee and Immigration Services (CRIS), dangerous neighborhoods, housing, Nepali Bhutanese, police, US Together | Tagged: bhutanese, Breckenridge Apartments, burglary, Columbus, Community Refugee and Immigration Services, Nepali, police, refugees, resettlement, US Together | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Christopher Coen on May 25, 2012
In November a report came out that revealed that 60% of Myanmar refugees living in Oakland were trapped in poverty. In December Iraqi refugees reported that the IRC had exposed them to extreme violence by resettling them to East Oakland (Nepali-Bhutanese refugees have also been mugged). Now comes word that a group of 22 Nepali-Bhutanese refugees in East Oakland are HIV positive and have been getting no health care at all. With a six-month wait for primary care appointments at a local health clinic, one of the refugees died while waiting. An article at New American Media mentions these facts:
OAKLAND, Calif.–Laura Lopez was running late. Inside the common room at Street Level Health Project clinic on Oakland’s International Boulevard, two Cambodian women and two Eritrean men were waiting for her. The group, representing Cambodian Community Development, Inc. and Eritrean Youth for Change, were here for one last meeting to prepare for an upcoming community health fair.
With the help of Lopez’s clinic, the refugee organizations were reaching out to their members to help them get basic health services…
…East Oakland…has been a resettlement site for a small but increasing numbers of refugees fleeing political repression in Burma, Bhutan, Nepal and other countries. Through one of their volunteers, who works at Eastmont Mall’s clinic, Lopez heard about a group of 22 Nepalese refugees who were HIV positive and getting no health care. Thus began the clinic’s work with the East Bay Refugee Forum and its members.
At the prep meeting for the community fair, Lopez and the refugee leaders were strategizing about how to pre-screen as many of their members as possible for health coverage enrollment at the May 19 event. This is no easy feat. At prior similar events, thousands of people eager for medical care had to be turned back for lack of required documents.
Jiwan Subba and Laxman Mahat from the Bhutanese Community in California have arrived to the meeting late from work. They raised the issue of Eastmont Mall’s and Highland Hospital’s six-month wait for primary care appointments. “By the time somebody gets an appointment, they’re dead,” Subba observed.
Mahat added that it happened to one of their community members… Read more here
Posted in Catholic Charities of the East Bay (Oakland), IRC, medical care, Nepali Bhutanese, Oakland | Tagged: Bay Area, bhutanese, East Oakland, HIV, medical care, nepalese, Nepali-Bhutanese, Oakland, refugees, resettlement | 1 Comment »
Posted by Christopher Coen on May 23, 2012
There is now a surge of Nepali-Bhutanese refugees resettling to Akron, Ohio. This happens when refugees seek to join their relatives already resettled in a local area (refugees termed as “geo cases”) as well as my secondary migration from other US cities (the Nepali-Bhutanese may be hearing from friends and families that jobs are available in Akron). Of course the surge puts pressure on the local resettlement agency to find a lot of material-item donations – e.g. furniture, essential household items, clothes, toiletries – in a relatively short period. Akron’s Beacon-Journal newspaper explains:
When members of the Bhutanese family arrived in Akron from a refugee camp in Nepal, they had nothing but the clothes on their backs and a few keepsakes in a bag.
The International Institute of Akron provided them with a furnished apartment, a hot meal and all of life’s little essentials, including kitchen gadgets, towels, sheets, blankets and cleaning items.
“It was a difficult life in the camps for 20 years,” said Bhim Subba, 50, who traveled to Akron with his wife and two children in February. “We were seeing no future there and decided to be resettled.”
The institute expects to serve a record number of refugees this month, with 85 already arriving as of late last week and the possibility of more in the remainder of the month. The figure is more than double the 30 to 40 refugees the agency normally gets in a month.
With the influx, the institute is looking for donations of basic items for the families.
“We need it all,” said Debbie May-Johnson, executive director of the institute…
…May-Johnson said most of the refugees coming into Akron are from Bhutanese refugee camps in Nepal and Burmese camps in Thailand. She said they are asking to come to Akron because they already have family here, with refugees from these camps settling in the city for the past five years.
May-Johnson said the institute has an equal number of refugees who come from other U.S. cities to Akron, seeking job opportunities and affordable housing… Read more here
Posted in Akron, International Institute of Akron, Nepali Bhutanese, secondary migration, refugee | Tagged: Akron, bhutanese, geo case, nepalese, Nepali-Bhutanese, refugees, resettlement, secondary migration | Leave a Comment »