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November, 2013

Volume 9, Issue 3

SFS: Career Development Roundtable

Somali Family Service and local agencies collaborated on combating unemployment By Ali Artan, Taxan Newsletter

SFS of San Diego hosted a career development round‐ table on October 3rd, 2013. About ten local businesses and agencies participated in the meeting. The objective of the meeting was to discuss ways of decreasing unem‐ ployment in the community and utilizing the available resources within the local agencies more appropri‐ ately. Community leaders stressed the lack of employment for all in particular for the youth. Mr. Ahmed Dahir, a Somali elder and an SFS staff member article continues on p2

Mental Health Can No Longer be Ignored in Our Community By Ali Artan, Taxan Newsletter

Inside this Issue Career Development


Mental Health Problems


A Success Business Story


Fletcher Spoke with the community


How to stay healthy


ObamaCare, what does it for 2,5,6 you and for your family? Announcements


On October 5th, 2013 SFS in collaboration with five of its partners held its first Mental Health Awareness forum at the Multi Cultural Storefront. At the forum, community leaders ex‐ pressed their concerns to health professionals over the recent increase of men‐ tal health problems in the Somali community. And the need to combat this problem once and for all.

article continues on p4

Taxan: The Somali News Link

Volume 8, Issue 3 November, 2013

Employment Roundtable continued from p1 expressed the importance of investing in our youth. “If we don’t help them today they will eventually become criminals and burden to their families and to the soci‐ ety at large in their latter days.” Mr. Dahir also pre‐ dicted that if unemployment among the youth is not given the care it deserves now, God forbid, it will cost us much more in the future. Representatives of the agen‐ cies expressed their keen interest in rolling out some programs that can mitigate the risk of unemployment in the community. They also acknowledged the impor‐ tance of tackling the youth unemployment and prom‐ ised to cooperate with SFS in order to collectively combat unemployment with the available resources. Dr. Joachim(Joe) Reimann, the Board Chair of SFS, empha‐ sized that the coordination of activities of local busi‐ nesses and agencies is essen‐ tial in determining the needs of the community and pro‐ viding adequate assistance. Yasmeen Maxamuud with the East African Collabora‐ tive informed the audience of the need to build a bridge between the agencies and the community representa‐ tives where employing liai‐ sons becomes necessary.

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Workforce Development Meeting Participants

Artan Consulting

ObamaCare, What does it for you and for your family? By Towfik Elmi, Researcher at Tri-City Health Center & Alameda Health System On March 23, 2011, President ACA, all states must establish a Obama signed into law the health‐ health benefit exchange and must care reform legislation. The Af‐ certify four basic levels of plans fordable Care Act (ACA) requires (think of it as insurance policy for U.S. citizens and legal residents to your car). These plans are traded enroll in a qualifying health plan in the marketplace and will be by March, 2014. ACA is projected offered to individuals and small to transform the insurance land‐ businesses in the form of Plati‐ scape of the healthcare industry. num, Gold, Silver and Bronze. A Obama‐Care also addresses core fifth level, known as catastrophic issues that drive healthcare costs coverage, is available for those through nationally funded pro‐ under 30‐years of age. The Plati‐ grams: wellness and preventative num plan covers 90% of the costs Towfik Elmi a services and economic incentives of health services, and it’s the member of a joint for providers to invest in elec‐ most expensive one. Four millions research project at tronic records and to exchange of Californians are estimated to be Tri-City Health secure patient data. About 18% of eligible for healthcare insurance Center and Alameda the U.S. GDP goes to healthcare through Covered California (Web Health System. He is services, by far the largest expen‐ and phone‐based access). also a member of diture component of the federal American College of Financial subsidies or credits are Healthcare budget. also available for eligible individu‐ Executives (ACHE) Covered California is the health als and families whose income is this year. insurance marketplace for Califor‐ between 100% and 400% of the Email: nians to shop, compare plans and Federal Poverty Level (FPL). Pre‐ get financial assistance. Under the mium credits (the amount of article continues on p5

Taxan: The Somali News Link

Volume 8, Issue 3

Black Horse Limos (BHL), LLC: A Business Success

November, 2013

By Ali Artan Black Horse Limos, LLC, a flour‐ ishing transportation business in City Heights, has become quite a business success story. Shakur Elmi founded BHL in 2010. Salah Ahmed & Ways Abdullahi became the first partners and the only sole owner‐operators at the time. Today, the company has about 50 business owner‐ operators. This fiscal year, the company generated a half‐million dollars. Taxan Newsletter had a rare opportunity to sit down with President Shakur and interview him about the chronicle of the Shakur Elmi, President of Black Horse Limos, LLC company. Ali Artan (AA) con‐ ducted the interview . SFS is now accepting applications for AmeriCorps*VISTA position. For more information, contact Cindy Alsol at

Ali: Mr. Shakur, welcome to Taxan Newsletter Shakur: Thanks for having me Ali: Why did you establish this company? Shakur: There are multiple underlying reasons why I founded this company chief among them is to make a living for myself first, and to create jobs in the communities in which our business operates because I realized there was an untapped work‐ force that was worth taking the risk for. And I ceased the moment. Ali: What difficulties had you faced during the first stages of the formation of the company? Shakur: Filing the articulation of incorporation in the State and finding a place for the business to operate with my limited resource were problems. I also had to struggle with developing business processes and wearing different hats over the course of the day. Ali: It seems your company is growing steadily what is the secret behind your success? Shakur: “Small laugh”. Obviously some are intellectual properties of the company and I can not share with the public. But common best business practices are honored in our company where the employees are the most valuable asset of our com‐ pany. And therefore, we take seriously their concerns and feedbacks. Ali: What gives Black Horse Limos a competitive edge in this saturated market? Shakur: Our biggest success stems from the belief of a “win‐win” scenario. We have never advocated a zero‐sum game. We also try to refine and retune our business processes continuously. Ali: You started with only three employees. How many employees do you have now? Shakur: 54 active employees and we have trained around 200 drivers Page 3

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Taxan: The Somali News Link

Volume 8, Issue 3 November, 2013

A Success Business Story continued from p3 Ali: Where do you stand on the social responsibility? Shakur: Black Horse Limos takes to heart the societal issues facing our communities. And based on our capacity we participate in sponsoring beneficial community programs like education, health and civic engagement. Ali: Where do you see the company in the near future? Shakur: Like any other company we are observing what is happening in the transportation industry, in terms of legal aspect, customer‐commuting behavior and other relevant factors. And thereafter we are aiming to adjust and implement the necessary changes that will make our employees and customers to stay with us for the long haul. Ali: Thanks for speaking with us. Shakur: You’re welcome!

San Diego Mayoral Hopeful, Mr. Fletcher, spoke with our community Mayoral Hopeful Nathan Fletcher spoke about his candidacy at Iftin Charter School Auditorium on Sunday, September 29th, 2013. Mayoral hopeful Fletcher’s hallmark of evaluating, assessing and making a sound decision on each given issue makes him a proponent of parents when it comes to public or private school preferences. He aims to harmonize developers’ business ambitions and community concerns because he believes that the decision‐ making process for city projects must diligently include community input and feedback. Not to mention, mayoral hopeful Fletcher pushes for greater diversity in terms of its workforce, promising to start the process of inclusiveness in his administration as soon if he is elected. The Executive Director of Horn of Africa , Mr. Abdi Mohamoud, summed up community’s main concerns in three categories ‐ education, employment and security. In response, Mr. Fletcher expressed that he understands community needs and is familiar with refugee community’s traditions and customs. “if I am elected for the next mayor of the Finest City, I am going to address your concerns and you will see immediate results.” declared Mr. Fletcher

Fadhiga Tea & Talk

Mental Health continued from p1

Joe & Vi Jacob Center 410 Euclid Ave San Diego Ca 92114 On Monday Nov. 11, 2013 @ (6:00 –8:00)PM

By Ali Artan Additionally, the stigma of the mental health must be mitigated within the commu‐ nity. “While seeing a psychiatrist is an integral part of the healing process, spiritual and traditional aspects must be taken into account,” suggested Professor Abdul‐ malik.

IFTIN CHARTER SCHOOL 5465 El Cajon Blvd San Diego, CA 92115 (619) 265-2411 Page 4

Taxan: The Somali News Link

Volume 8, Issue 3 November, 2013

Learning how to get and stay healthy! By Samanta Hurst, PhD Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in men and women in the United States. However, it's no secret that men need to pay more consideration to the risks of heart dis‐ ease because of the lack of attention they give to their physi‐ cal and emotional health. Several significant things work against men in comparison to their female counterparts. Men tend to smoke more than women. About 20% of all deaths from heart disease in the U.S. are directly related to cigarette smoking as a cause of coronary artery disease. Stress, economic disadvantage and social isolation can be fac‐ tors for continuing to smoke (and smoking more). Men also tend to be less recreationally active because they spend so much time and energy devoted to their jobs and they don't seek medical attention and advice as often as women. In fact a prominent stereotype is that men often seek medical advice too late and “underreact” to severe symptoms, which leads to a poorer prognosis. The reasons why men are reluctant to seek medical attention are probably rooted in biological and psychological factors as well as social and cultural traditions. Previous research has suggested that men view illness as a form of weakness and have negative views about men who seek medical help. The biggest threats to men's heart health can often be pre‐ vented. Men can take care of their heart health by making healthier lifestyle choices that dramatically reduce their risks. Current research has produced some tried and true strategies for not only taking care of heart disease but also for avoiding the risks that lead to heart trouble in the first place. Here’s some DIY (do it yourself) advice for all men: Manage stress. Stress can strain your heart. If you feel con‐ stantly on edge or perhaps suffer from bouts of depression, it is likely your lifestyle habits may suffer as well. Take steps to reduce stress — or better yet learn to deal with stress in healthy ways. Include physical activity in your daily routine. Choose ac‐ tivities you enjoy, like walking, hiking, swimming or biking, or find a team sport you can play such as soccer or basketball. Eat a healthy diet. Cut your cholesterol with high fiber foods such as vegetables, fruits (berries, apples, pears, bananas, figs), whole grains, oats and bran, quinoa and brown rice, beans, and nuts. For great health, you need 30 to 40 daily grams from fiber rich foods. Eat only lean sources of beef, lamb or chicken, and fish. Limit foods high in saturated fat and reduce unnecessary salt, since sodium can raise blood pressure. Select fat‐free, 1% fat, and low‐fat dairy products. And most of all keep an eye on your portion sizes Page 5

Maintain a healthy weight. Extra pounds increase the risk of heart disease. Don't smoke. If you smoke or use other tobacco products, ask your doctor to help you quit. Blood flow to the heart is critically reduced. Any amount of smoking, even light smok‐ ing or occasional smoking, damages the heart and blood ves‐ sels so it’s also important to avoid exposure to secondhand smoke. Manage chronic conditions. If you have high cholesterol or high blood pressure, follow your doctor's treatment recom‐ mendations. If you have diabetes, keep your blood sugar un‐ der control. So what are you doing to protect your heart?

ObamaCare Continued on P1 By Towfik Elmi money you will be able to save) will be linked to the second lowest cost of the Silver plan in the area in which you or family resides (see Table 1 below for eligibility). Health plans must cover 10 essential health benefits, which include hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, prescription drugs, emergency services, mental health and ambulatory care. In addition, insurance companies cannot prevent people with pre‐existing conditions from getting covered.

Family Size

Income Level LESS THAN

Income Level is BETWEEN

1 $15,857 $15857 - $45, 960 2 $21,404 $21404 - $62040 3 $26,952 $26952 - $78,120 4 $32,500 $32500 - $94,200 5 $38,047 $38047 - $ 110280 You may Qualify for Medi-Cal Premium Assistance, Covered California SOURCE: Cover California The old system thus failed to provide coverage to a largely eligible but uninsured population. If the state supports outreach programs to educate the public about the new coverage option and the California Health Exchange program, simplify eligibility and enrollment processes, it will reap the benefits associated with the ACA early on. It’s expected that the health insurance will create 100, 000 new jobs per year in California. Currently, there are approximately 7 million uninsured people in California. article continues on p6

Taxan: The Somali News Link Busi ness Name2

Volume 8, Issue 3 November, 2013

The Affordable Care Act is projected to decrease this number by half, by the year 2016. Estimates suggest the changes resulting from ACA would enroll more than two million new members into Medi‐Cal programs. This newly eligible population could cost the state of California several hundreds of millions of dollars annually. However, research suggests that more than half of new enrollees will be young (under the age of 40) and healthy, or at least no less healthy than current enrollees. It is estimated that between 15 and 25 percent of potential new enrollees report fair to poor health; a quarter of which indicate a chronic health condition. It will be important for California to make sure that these young and healthy eligibles participate in the state health exchange program. By Towfik Elmi, Researcher at Tri-City Health Center

Events Calendar ‐Southern Sudanese Community Center of San Diego offers free Arabic classes for all ages. Contact their office for the fall schedule at ‐Want to know more about Somali culture and dealing with language and cultural barriers? Somali Family Service offers presentations – please contact us for details at 619‐265‐5821. ‐Fadhiga Tea & Talk Joe & Vi Jacob Center 410 Euclid Ave San Diego Ca 92114, on Monday Nov. 11, 2013 at (6:00 –8:00)PM ‐The San Diego Refugee Forum meets the third Tuesday of each month from 10:30 a.m.—noon at 5348 University Ave. For more information, the website is ‐Monthly Health Education Class @ SFS. More info, contact Najla (619) 265‐5821 ext. 209 ‐Iftin Charter Board meets the first Friday of each month @ 5:00 p.m. For further info contact the office ‐After‐School Tutoring Program on Tuesdays, (4‐6)PM at SFS

Fantastic Eid Picnic @ Colina Park, City heights Taxan is sponsored by the Somali Family Service of San Diego located at 6035 University Ave., Ste. 6 San Diego, CA 92115 Tel: 619-265-5821 Email:

Newsletter Staff Editor-in-Chief + Design ALI ARTAN Editor/Writer CINDY ALSOL Marketing Director AHMED SAHID

Artan Tax Service 6035 University Ave, Ste 30 San Diego, CA, 92115 Tel (619) 944-0923 Page 6


Taxan Newsletter - November, 2013  

Taxan Newsletter is a bilingual, quarterly paper sponsored by Somali Family Service of San Diego.

Taxan Newsletter - November, 2013  

Taxan Newsletter is a bilingual, quarterly paper sponsored by Somali Family Service of San Diego.