Part of The Verge‘s Homeland series, this feature by Makena Kelly on resettlement programs in the U.S. shows what Afghan families are facing from day to day, particularly in communities of the San Francisco Bay Area where the housing crisis is dire. Ongoing support and aid comes from local nonprofits, overworked volunteers, and generous families within the Muslim community.

When these overwhelmed caseworkers can’t answer the calls or emails of new Afghan immigrants, Siddiqui does. Over the last six months, she’s booked dozens of Airbnbs, partnered with local food delivery and religious groups, and held the hands of dozens of Afghans as they build new lives in California, often while they wait to receive the money that comes from the government-aligned resettlement groups.

Cheri Lucas Rowlands

Cheri has been an editor at Longreads since 2014. She's currently based in the San Francisco Bay Area.