ZOOM House currently has two residents from the Somali community. Zahra and her son Farah came to the program in December 2006, understanding very little English. Life skills such as operating an automatic washer and dryer, paying bills, and communicating with those that do not speak Somali were limited. The last 14 months have been a learning experience for everyone at ZOOM House. And an enjoyable one.
Many of the residents at ZOOM House gathered together and surprised Farah (and his mother) with an American style party to celebrate Farah’s third birthday. Everyone enjoyed the event and it was the beginning of many great relationships among neighbors.
Zahra and Farah have grown in so many ways since entering the program. Zahra has become a U.S. citizen, she has been attending English as a Second Language (ESL) classes at the Lehman Learning Center and has also participated in a program that prepares her for gainful employment. Her English is much stronger; she has mastered the washing machine; pays her bills and is a wonderful cook of both Somalian and American dishes.
Farah has been attending Head Start and is teaching his mom new English words and sentences (including a few not so appropriate ones!). He has made new friends in the building and the community and is the #1 supporter of our new Disney movie library in the ZOOM House office (available to all tenants.)
The Simpson program at ZOOM House not only provides safe and affordable housing. It connects families with a community: a community within an apartment building, throughout a neighborhood and into the city.
-Mo O., Simpson ZOOM House Family Advocate