Meet Mohamed: Overcoming disability and finding support on his journey to a new life in Calgary

Mohamed is a newcomer from Somalia with a physical disability that makes it harder to get around Calgary. New to the city and lacking a support network, he was struggling with food security. He reached out to Immigrant Services Calgary and was immediately referred to a culturally sensitive food bank, which provided him with a food hamper the same day.

Once Mohamed had food support, Immigrant Services Calgary booked his appointment with a Gateway Planner who speaks his native language. They worked together to build a plan for his future based on his needs, priorities, skills, and goals.

Mohamed was referred to several programs to receive needed support with his daily living, connecting him to affordable housing, benefits for people with disabilities, low-income transit passes, and free English language classes. As his Gateway Planner got to know him, she discovered Mohamed did not have many essential furniture items—so she connected him with a centre that provided a mattress, microwave, and other items for his home.

After ensuring Mohamed’s needs were met, the Gateway Planner connected him to an art program—his passion. He was provided with art supplies and now enjoys regularly attending the classes, creating beautiful pieces, and building new friendships with other students. Mohamad is happy with his new life in Canada, and is deeply grateful for all the support available to newcomers in Calgary.

My Gateway Planner helped me 100%,” says Mohamed. “She opened my eyes to the resources available to me. The service was great!”

💙Be inspired by the real-life journeys of newcomers who have thrived with our support