The United Nations estimates that more than 4 million Ukrainians could flee their country if the situation keeps getting worse, and a local community group is standing ready to help resettle some of them.
David Duea, the president and CEO of Lutheran Community Services Northwest, said images showing Ukrainians crossing the border into Poland are heartbreaking.
“We foresaw this coming. In the last five years alone, we resettled 2,100 Ukrainian refugees. So we have a lot of Ukrainian staff. And we just hired three additional Ukrainian caseworkers in the Seattle-Tacoma area just to be ready to respond,” Duea said.
He said his organization, which has a history of settling refugees since the 70s, is ready to help.
In the last few weeks, the organization has helped 300 Ukrainians resettle in the Pacific Northwest.
Those people had already been in the resettlement pipeline for months or years.
More people are expected to arrive but there is a lot of uncertainty at this point.
“But we know that we’re scheduled for 55 in the next two weeks, and we don’t know if they’re coming. They’re approved to come, we just don’t know with the current conflict if they can get out,” Duea said.
LCSNW has helped resettle 700 Afghan refugees since their country fell to the Taliban last summer.
Its work starts by greeting families at the airport, finding them a place to live and helping them navigate a new country.
To find out how you can help, visit the organization’s website at LCSNW.org.
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