Asa’s Story-The Perlman Loan Fund

Emergency Assistance and COVID-19 Relief

Thanks to the Perlman Family and The Perlman Loan Fund, in association with The Change Reaction, JFS has started providing interest-free loans to Afghan refugees in our community. One of the most important purchases that any immigrant in the US will make is buying a car. Cars are a necessity for most immigrants. However, few people have enough funds to cover the cost of a car upfront, and getting a car loan can be difficult as a new immigrant. Asa* and his family received an interest-free loan to assist in purchasing a car so they can achieve their goals.

Asa is a 26 year old Afghan refugee who fled his country in August during the emergency evacuations. He evacuated with his wife, parents, two sisters and younger brother. He lived in Kabul, the country's capital, and worked with Sayara International as a finance officer. Upon evacuation, his family was taken on the military jet to Qatar, where they waited for 17 days. Next they went to Washington D.C. and then to a refugee camp in Indiana for four months. Two months ago they arrived in Salt Lake City, where they first stayed in a hotel and then were provided long-term housing. He describes his journey as long and difficult.

Since moving into his apartment, Asa has been anxious to start working. He told a volunteer who works with other refugee families that he doesn't want to rely on the government to provide a life for him and he wants to continue his education and get a job. He applied and received a job at Walgreens within a couple of weeks. He earns $15 per hour and works 40 to 60 hours a week. His younger brother also works at Walgreens part-time. Between the two brothers the family's monthly income is about $5,000/month.

With the The Perlman Fund Loan he received through JFS, Asa will be able to purchase a car, enabling him to supplement their modest monthly income by driving for Uber and Lyft. He will also now be able to visit other family members living in Utah and begin to acclimate to the community. JFS is grateful to The Perlmans and The Change Reaction for this partnership and our collective impact.

*The client name has been changed to maintain confidentiality.