The Syrians who are granted refugee status in the U.S. don’t come here and magically have homes. Most of the Syrians that arrive in the Metro-Detroit area are being processed through Jordan, and are given a small stipend to offset costs they’ll face upon their arrival to the U.S.
These stipends should be able to be used for cars, food, and medicine. Unfortunately, a lot of the families have a difficult time finding permanent housing first. They live in hotels until they can get that permanent housing, which eats away at their stipend fairly quickly (even completely consuming it).
One man (a recent arrival) who is assisting in acquiring, sorting, and delivering supplies to other refugees was telling us his story. His timeline went something like this:
Be dropped off at a hotel with his family.
Remained in hotel for 41 days.
31 days after acquiring home, received SNAP benefits.
38 days after acquiring home, received Medicaid coverage.
Imagine this, in a country that you don’t speak the language, don’t own a vehicle, don’t have a driver’s license, and the city has no legitimate public transportation. We take so much for granted.