Meridian, ID

"Meridian welcomes refugees"

A bald eagle perched in the Meridian tree line. (Credit: Ga Neille Posey Hostvedt)

Here in Meridian, we welcome many refugees. We help them acclimate to their new community, and guide them through their transition by teaching language skills and offering ongoing counseling. We also provide them with housing, domestic provisions, educational resources, job opportunities, and schooling. Our laws and ways of life are often challenging because of our differing lifestyles, so we educate our own citizens on how we can help newcomers as they move into the community. We introduce refugees to all the grand opportunities that we are proud to share with all in Meridian. It’s pure joy to show those who move here how stunning our landscape is and enjoy all of it’s splendor. Alternatively, we also learn from incoming refugees and appreciate them sharing with us their own skills and work ethic. The world is our extended family.

A letter from a Syrian refugee child to a neighbor who is a veteran reads, in part, “thank you for all that you did to keep America the home of the free.” (Credit:Ga Neille Posey Hostvedt)

Stories About Meridian

It’s no wonder that Boise and Meridian are famously among the fastest growing populations in the U.S, but of the greatest importance is our friendly, welcoming, and caring citizens. We have incredible skies, 300 days of sunshine each year, and outdoor activities such as winter sports, fishing, hunting, camping, sleigh rides, and hiking. Diverse activities appeal to every interest: live stage theater, lush landscapes, desert lands, unique terrain, hot springs, Craters of the Moon (where astronauts have trained!), sand dunes to slide down, and surrounding mountain ranges. We love our forests, rivers, lakes, streams, and the wildlife that it attracts. Welcome!

My Son’s wife works as an Ada County Court Clerk. This court includes Meridian. She records proceedings, and is familiar with the problems that refugees face when they appear in the court for various infractions due to misunderstanding of our laws that are unfamiliar to them. There’s a great effort to provide counseling to facilitate our refugees’ transition, and, as quickly as possible, help teach them our laws and way of life. Gail Starkey is my friend and neighbor, also a Meridian resident. She worked with a Syrian refugee family through her Nazarene Church last year, to help them with housing, education resources, counseling, provisions. I’ve seen Syrian women working and shopping in our community; they wear traditional abayahs and hijabs. I’ve heard that other local churches are involved in transitioning refugees.

We could all be refugees who would want and hope for a welcoming, caring, friendly community like Meridian, to be our oasis. Sharing stories of a welcoming city to all is the best way for everyone to learn how a city of good people can make life better for others, and in turn, for themselves. Ours is a city of citizens to emulate.

Joe’s Story

Meridian is full of nice people, great dining, plenty of jobs and affordable housing! This place reminds me very much of how it was growing up in the 50s and 60s — peaceful and quiet. People here wave or say “hello” when you come across them, whether you are walking your dogs or driving down the street. You don’t have to know them either — they’re simply THAT friendly. If someone loses their pet, everyone starts looking for it until it’s found. School buses stop in front of people’s homes and pick up or drop off students. In our community, no community mail boxes. Everyone has their own mailbox, like in the good old days. American flags are hanging in front of homes everywhere. My wife and I moved here to retire and we couldn’t be any happier.

Joe’s house in Meridian, a great place to retire. (Credit: Joe Parrish)