International House Expansion
Charlotte, NC- Right now Midwood High School is vacant and unused space. But Zebene Mesele sees much more. He and his friends are renting a room from the International House of Charlotte, in hopes of changing the lives of his fellow countrymen from Ethiopia who settle in the Queen City. Mesele says, “They may need housing, job searching, transportation, even learning English language so they need first assistance."
He also points out, you first have to understand how extreme people's circumstances are in order to grasp how urgent their need is. "Government are terrorizing their own people, you know human being is killed like animal." says Mesele.
Its something Mirzeta Hadzikadic knows all too well. She runs the local support group for people from Bosnia Herzegovina. Many landed in Charlotte after fleeing that country during the war. Hadzikadic says, “We are planning to do the clinics to address drug and alcohol abuse, because they don't understand resources they may have available publicly to help them deal with that."
International House of Charlotte's Executive Director, Denise Long is busy making sure the building is ready for its tenants by December 15th. But amid the blue prints and construction, the benefit of having so many services housed under one roof isn't lost on her. Long says, "If someone from the Ethiopian community needs assistance from our legal clinic, they simply walk downstairs and here we are."
Ultimately, the old school will find new life as a cultural center offering potentially life changing services to people from all corners of the world, who decided to call Charlotte home.