When an immigrant or refugee makes a resettlement in Houston, how do they go about everyday life? It can be challenging for new Americans to live in a new country. Even tasks like walking down the street can present unique complications. We’ve created a comprehensive list of key topics to help refugees in Houston navigate the city for day-to-day tasks.
Look for Landmarks
One thing you should do is look for landmarks. This will help you be able to start associating streets with what you recognize. Even if you don’t fully speak English, knowing where something like a church is can help you get around the neighborhood.
Understand Traffic Signs
Even if you don’t drive a car, refugees in Houston need to know what the traffic signals are. This is critical because it will keep you safe when you’re walking. Here are some general rules to keep in mind:
- Green means go. If you see a green light, this means it’s safe for you to proceed.
- Yellow signifies that you should proceed with caution. Be careful and be aware of your surroundings.
- Red signs mean stop. Pay immediate attention to what’s around you, because red can mean there’s danger.
For more information about the street signs, you should watch this video to understand the basics.
Learn the Bus Schedules
It’s important to learn the bus schedules. Houston METRO’s schedule can be found online here. The website even has an interactive map that shows what the routes are. Remember, you can even download the RideMETRO app for your smartphone. This will allow you to use the interactive map at all times, so you can find the best bus route for where you need to go.
If you cannot afford a smartphone or your own computer, you should go to your local library. Your library will have computers that you can use. There, you’ll be able to use the METRO website to find out all your transportation needs.
Take the METRORail
Also, Houston METRO offers METRORail as another form of public transportation. There are three train lines you can use. Each line can bring you to different locations. METRORail offers you the chance to go downtown, midtown, the Museum District, and other places in Houston. Here are the lines:
- METRORail Red Line
- METRORail Green Line
- METRORail Purple Line
On the train, you are allowed to bring a pet, as long as it’s caged properly. Also, you’re allowed to bring service animals if you have a disability. Finally, be mindful if you’re traveling with new American children. There are no seatbelts on the train, so for small children it’s suggested to hold your child. You can bring strollers on board too. You should fold the stroller while on the train.
Contact Amaanah Refugee Services
Finally, refugees in Houston should contact Amaanah Refugee Services. Amaanah’s mission is to be the leader in providing support for refugee and immigrant families. This is done by making sure new Americans have equal access to opportunities for economic success and social prosperity.
Houston offers a lot of opportunities for work, entertainment, and everything else you’ll need in your daily life. Amaanah understands the importance of being able to access everything in a safe way that helps you become independent and comfortable in your new home. Contact Amaanah Refugee Services today to learn how we can help you navigate daily in Houston.