By Adelene Gallego Ramos
Linh Pham was rescued by Catholic agencies three times in his life. Now an elder in the Vietnamese American community in San Jose, California, Linh is a recent survivor of the Coyote Creek flood. Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County came into his life after Linh and his family left his home in despair due to the flood.
Linh and his family were given immediate assistance with rent at his temporary home. After being displaced for about three months, his family was cleared to return home, and Catholic Charities assisted with rent, furniture, and household items.
The Catholic Church always seemed to show up every time Linh was in need. The first time was when he was a child in Vietnam. It was 1954. The French fell and Linh and his family escaped from North Vietnam to South Vietnam for safety. They were helped by the Catholic community, and were given shelter, food and clothing.
The second time the Catholic Church appeared in Linh’s life was when he fled Vietnam as a refugee in 1975. He was resettled by Catholic Charities in the United States. Linh and his family were given rental assistance and had help finding jobs. They were able to become self-sufficient in an unknown land.
Linh thought that his days of suffering through disaster has ended, but little did he know, in February 2017, his family would be in the direct path of the Coyote Creek Flood. Everything that he had worked to build in America was lost in a blink of an eye. Still reeling from the quick turn of events, Linh once again was rescued by a Catholic agency…this time in the form of Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County.
“I could not believe that the Coyote Creek Flood would leave us homeless,” said Linh. “I worked so hard for so many years to build a good life for my family in San Jose. I don’t know why, but for some reason, when life seems to be most difficult, the Catholic Church shows up to help. Thanks to Catholic Charities, I am optimistic that we will get back on our feet.”
“Catholic Charities has been serving our Vietnamese American neighbors for 38 years,” said Gregory R. Kepferle, CEO of Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County. “We have always been there for the Vietnamese American community and they have always been there for us. We are touched that Linh thinks of us almost like family.”
To learn more about our work in disaster recovery after the Coyote Creek Flood, visit www.catholiccharitiesscc.org/flood-relief.
To learn more about our work helping resettle refugees, please visit