Islamic Relief USA donates $40,000 to RYSE program

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ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - Roanoke faith leaders came together with Roanoke city and county leaders on Wednesday morning to learn about homeless families and the new United Way RYSE program.

The goal of the program is get to families housing and a steady paycheck.  With nearly 600 homeless children in Roanoke City Schools, the program also addresses challenges Including academic support, employment, health and other crisis interventions moving families to self-sufficiency.

The Islamic Relief USA Organization out of Northern Virginia gave $40,000 to the program.  It's the first donation they've made in our area.

"It comes from the Muslim values of wanting for your brother what you want for yourself and also there's a strong pull in looking out for our neighbors and that it tells us how can we go to sleep with our bellies full while our neighbors are going hungry," said Naeem Muhammad, the U.S. programs manager.

Five families are now in the program giving 12 children a place to call home.