We are Good Samaritan volunteer mentors located in South Salt Lake (SSL) Neighborhood Center helping refugees and others we’ve been matched with overcome challenges and gain knowledge and skills to help them be successful.
We were recruited by Tom (co-founder) because he knew we had time to spare and wanted to use it in positive ways. When we first arrived at the SSL Neighborhood Center, we were matched with refugees from Iraq and Iran. What we learned was that the majority of people we work with simply need a friend. And that’s what we wanted to do – be a friend. It’s important to build that relationship and trust, and then you can start understanding the clients “why.” Why they are seeking employment. Why they are in Utah. Many times, barriers or needs will come up we never could’ve anticipated.
One of the individuals we’re matched with has a severely disabled daughter. They are refugees from Iraq. He is her primary caregiver which limits his employment availability in many ways. We work closely with him to identify resources and other supports that will hopefully allow him to increase his employment availability while he cares for his daughter.
More often than not there are immediate needs that having a friend who knows the systems and can walk them through complex processes allows them to overcome those barriers and take next step towards success. Those we work with call us as their friend, knowing that we are there to help and they can count on us to be there. That’s what Good Samaritan Foundation does, builds friendships first and then we are better equipped to meet the needs of those we are here to help.
-Duane and Jeri Rasmussen