Since Russia invaded their homeland in February 2022, nearly 6 million Ukrainians have fled the carnage, seeking asylum in other European nations and throughout the world.
About 4,550 have settled in Oregon, struggling to survive with little money and few possessions.
More assistance may be coming their way, though, through $2.25 million in federal funding that will be divided among community agencies by the Oregon Department of Human Services Refugee Program help the newcomers find housing, jobs, medical and mental health care, and legal assistance.
Six resettlement agencies in the state contract with the U.S. State Department’s Refugee Admissions Program to Oregon to assist Ukrainian refugees: Catholic Charities of Oregon, Catholic Community Services of Lane County, Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization, Lutheran Community Services Northwest, Salem For Refugees and Sponsors Organized to Assist Refugees.
Housing assistance will claim the largest share of the money, $1 million, while $500,000 will go toward helping refugees find jobs, $300,000 for medical and mental health programs, $300,000 for legal services, and $75,000 for senior citizens. Application deadline is Nov. 24.
KPTV-TV captures on family’s story, “Everyone was caught by war at night,” said Yulia Shipulina, a Community Outreach Specialist for Lutheran Community Services NW, who translated for the Zamrykots. “He says they heard the bombs in the morning so hard. The military airport is close to their home. It was hard at the beginning. They had to go to the basement, which was hard because their daughter Rosalina is disabled and cannot walk. They started to look at the news and the Russian army started to get closer to Kyiv. Their home was about 15 miles from the base of the Russian army. All the time there was red light in the sky. All the time fighting was happening.”After three days they decided to leave, but didn’t know where to go. Konstantin says he reached out to friends in Belgium, who agreed to let them stay. They traveled to Belgium and stayed their several months before moving to Portland to be with Liliia’s sister Natalia.” (photo above)
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