The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Home to temporarily house refugees, immigrants opens in Iowa City

The temporary shelter will provide housing and connect immigrants with support networks, jobs, and housing.
Henry Tran
Attendees converse outside during a Immigrant Welcome Network event at 1109 Prairie Du Chien Road Open House, in Iowa City on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023.

The Immigrant Welcome Network of Johnson County opened its first temporary “Welcome Home” Wednesday evening for immigrants looking to relocate to Iowa City. 

The three-bedroom and one-bath white house on Prairie Du Chien Road in Iowa City will give temporary shelter and connect immigrants with support networks in Johnson County. The organization provides free housing to refugee and immigrant families for up to 45 days.  

The house is rented through a local landlord for $1,800 a month paid for by donations from community members and area businesses. 

The welcome network will also work with immigrants to establish housing, employment, and social support for the immigrants who take refuge at the small Iowa City home. 

Mazahir Salih, executive director for the Center for Worker Justice, is one of the 15 founders of the Immigrant Welcome Network in Johnson County. She said the house is meant to be a welcoming place for Immigrants to get their start in Johnson County and to show them all the community has to offer. 

“Our mission for [the network] has always been clear: To create a welcoming and supportive community for newcomers, to help them navigate the complexity of resettling and to provide them with resources they need to survive,” Salih said in an address to supporters at the open house Wednesday evening.

Map by Natalie Dunlap

Iowa City Mayor Bruce Teague said the house shows the welcoming nature of Iowa City and encompasses the values that Iowa City holds as a community. 

“This is a glorious occasion and really speaks to our community,” Teague said. “When we think about Iowa City, we think about all of the values that we have. This house encompasses those values.” 

The network was founded in 2023 by 15 Johnson County community members, many of whom are immigrants themselves, wanting to provide support to immigrants relocating to Johnson County, Salih said. 

“Together, we are building a more inclusive, welcoming, and vibrant community where immigrants can not only survive but thrive,” Salih said. 


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About the Contributors
Liam Halawith
Liam Halawith, Politics Editor
Liam Halawith is a third-year student at the University of Iowa studying Journalism and Mass Communication and minoring in Public Policy. Before his role as Politics Editor Liam was a politics reporter for the DI. Outside of the DI Liam has interned at the Cedar Rapids Gazette and the Southeast Iowa Union. This is his second year working for the DI.
Henry Tran
Henry Tran, Graphic Designer & Photojournalist
Henry is a third-year student at The University of Iowa majoring in 3D design.