Grassroots organization seeking local housing supports for Ukrainian families

City News

Brent Cater City News February 13 2023

It's been nearly a year since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine - and the number of refugee families fleeing the fighting has continued to grow. 

Finding homes for these families has become increasingly challenging as hundreds look to find safety in Canada and locally in Waterloo Region. 

In a interview with CityNews 570 Stephanie Goertz a founding member of Waterloo Region Grassroots Response to the Ukrainian Crisis said her organization is desperately looking for people across the region to open their homes and host Ukrainian families in need. 

"We're always looking for people to say (they) can provide a safe space for one or two weeks until a different option is figured out. (That) they have a spare bedroom, a basement apartment or senior living on their own in an empty house." 

Goertz said those unable to host a family can still offer their assistance by volunteering with the organization, donating online or assisting with resumes as many fleeing families will be seeking work when they arrive in the region.

As many as 30 families are expected to come to Waterloo Region in the month of February, and Goertz worries that number is likely to rise. 

"We've currently connected 12 families with local houses and we need eight more. We know that we constantly get applications for people who are already here or will be arriving in one to two weeks so we know that 30 will definitely be jumping up." 

Images of families arriving in the region and details on how to host be found on the organizations website.