How the community helps refugees from Ukraine | News
TRI-CITIES, WA – On Friday morning, President Biden announced a plan to admit 100,000 refugees to the United States.
Spokane is expecting refugees. However, there is no official date or how many are expected.
Nearly 3.6 million Ukrainians are now refugees and many more are internally displaced persons still in Ukraine. However, the majority of refugees have moved to neighboring countries.
World Relief has been helping refugees around the world for decades.
When they arrive in the United States, World Relief makes sure they are there to help with federal assisted living programs.
Ken Primus, director of World Relief Tri-Cities, explains that the Lautenberg program helps refugees.
“They could be granted parole status, which is similar to how Afghan refugees have been categorized,” he says, “At least a thousand people who are already on the waiting list to be in the Tri-Cities via the Lautenberg program.”
The program, a family reunification program, allows US residents to bring family members overseas to the United States.
World Relief has a list of nearly a thousand people awaiting approval.
Once they arrive, World Relief Tri-Cities welcomes them into the community.
World Relief Tri-Cities has several Christian churches, including a few Ukrainian churches with which they have contact.
“We have worked and partnered with them over the years and they continue to donate,” Ken said, “Not just money, but church members donate their services as well.”
The House of Hope Church in Pasco is one. Pastor Vasily Doroschuck says they help because he and many of their volunteers were former refugees.
“Our church members came to the airport with flowers and balloons to make them feel welcome,” he says, “and then global aid had to sit down and do some initial paperwork, so many members provided services where they translated”.
Pastor Doroschuck says each volunteer is assigned a family. They meet the needs of families, such as buying food and clothing.
As a church, they are there to provide physical and spiritual support to refugees.