October 27, 2023


That’s how much it would cost me to get to work each week if I had to take an Uber. That’s $22,360 annually. Add in $800/month (if I’m lucky) of rent and that puts me at a grand total of $31,960. I haven’t bought food yet. Or paid for utilities. Or health bills. Just transportation to my job and back home and a place to live. 

I was told this week about a refugee woman in our community who is taking Uber to work. It’s her only possible mode of transportation. Her English is minimal, her residence too far from the bus system, she has yet to learn to drive. So, she does what she can. She Ubers to her job, works hard, Ubers back home. 

So, I added it up. There has to be another way. Have you ever been in a place where you felt stuck? Our modern day lifestyle has made it to where driving cars is a critical part to adjusting to life in America – especially in cities the size of Columbia. It is why we are thrilled when we receive donated cars from folks in our community. We have seen firsthand how the gift of mobility can change lives. 

But now we have another solution. One of our dreams for our new building came to fruition this week. A driving simulator! As I type, our staff are getting trained on this new beast.  

Our hope with this addition has been to equip and empower our refugee friends to learn how to drive from the safety of a stationary room. They can learn the rules of the road, they can weather the storms (rain or ice), they can feel a blow-out in their tire, they can learn urban or city driving. Our staff and volunteers can sit at their instructor station, giving the students varying challenges, depending on their skill levels. 

Our friends will learn to drive! (and save money!) 

We are excited to share how this progresses in the coming weeks and months. As more people (especially the women) get their licenses, we will also be working to help them acquire vehicles. 

A whole new world becomes available to our friends when they have the mobility and opportunity to venture out on their own. Steps toward independence on their journey of resilience. 

Want to be part of other initiatives at City of Refuge?

We’re always looking for new partners. Please consider how your giving can impact future generations of resettled refugees living in mid-Missouri!

Holiday Market

We have over 35 vendors (both refugee and local artisans) signed up and live entertainment slated for the entire day on December 9. Mark your calendars and come ready to shop, eat, and enjoy the talents of our community! We’re still looking for sponsors. Know a business, company or individual who may be interested? We’d love to have you!

Thank you for supporting City of Refuge!

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