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Fauntleroy resettles a single woman from Iran

Fauntleroy UCC in Seattle signed up with the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia Refugee Resettlement office to resettle an Afghan family, but were assigned a woman from Iran in February

Fauntleroy Immigration Task Force volunteers Maria Groen and Ev Eldridge offer job raining for a refugee and translator. Photo courtesy Bob Wyss

One reason is that two members of the church’s 10-member Immigration Task Force has remodeled a garage as a studio apartment and made it available for the church to use for a refugee.

The space fit the needs of the 34-year-old woman from Iran, who had been in Turkey eight years.

“It’s a delight working with her,” said Bob Wyss, whose co-chair, Dianne Sprague moved with him to Seattle three years ago Connecticut to be near a grandchild and joined Fauntleroy.

Dianne had previously been involved with the Storrs Congregational Church in resettling Syrian refugees about six years ago.

Committee members at Fauntleroy are involved in different ways. Having housing provided free for as long as the woman needs it means the biggest task is ESL training.

Several members of the team are doing ESL lessons with her every day.

Others are providing transportation to the grocery store, orienting her to the bus system, finding medical and dental care, helping her find a job.

“She is learning English fast so she can find a job and be self-sufficient,” Bob said.

Fauntleroy has a history of working with immigrants, first after World War II and then after Vietnam. Later they were involved with asylum-seeking families from Central America.

As others, they began working with World Relief, but cut off after the issue about not hiring a gay attorney in Spokane.

For information, call 206-932-5600 or email


Pacific NW Conference United Church News - © April 2022


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