When Samia Mehenoun and her family moved into their Columbia Hills apartment in 2018, they were relieved to have found a safe and affordable place to call home. Natives of Algeria, Samia, her husband, and their three children spoke primarily Arabic when they arrived in the United States. As new APAH residents, they appreciated the opportunities that the Resident Services Team offered them, including connecting them with English classes.
“When I got here my English was not very good,” Samia recalled. “I told resident services staff I wanted to study English. They helped me get a scholarship to study English at Arlington Mill Community Center. I was so happy for that.”
In 2020 when the pandemic began, Samia was thankful for APAH’s services and community partners. “We have very good relationships with the staff—especially Roxana, Jessica, and Ana. They help us with everything. During the pandemic when it was really hard because the kids weren’t going to school and my husband and I had to work too much, I asked them for help. They said, ‘Don’t worry, everything will be fine.’ They asked me if we needed food or help with rent.”
Resident Services staff assisted Samia in filling out the application for rent relief and connected her with AFAC, so her family could choose fresh, nutritious food each week to supplement their grocery shopping. APAH also provided Samia’s children with brand new school supplies and a laptop to help the family overcome technological barriers.
Samia appreciates her diverse neighbors. “I like that everyone is from different countries, and some people are from America,” she said. “I hope everyone can live in an apartment like this. It’s a safe place to live, the maintenance is very good, and people are so nice. We don’t worry about anything because we know they will help us if we need it, and we’ll be fine.”