Every day, approximately 20 to 30 displaced Ukrainians are arriving in B.C. fleeing war and seeking a safe place to shelter. Their journeys have seen them face trauma and horrors, but also hope as they are welcomed to a new community.
Unfortunately, even though more Ukrainians are arriving, there are very limited housing opportunities for those in need.
Through a partnership with the Government of British Columbia, the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, and Affiliation of Multicultural Societies & Service Agencies of BC (AMSSA), United Way British Columbia (UWBC) has been supporting settlement agencies with welcoming Ukrainians to the province, providing necessities, and finding housing.
“Having a safe place to call your own, to rest and not having to worry about moving is vital to arriving Ukrainians to find the space and security they need to heal with their trauma and integrate into their new communities,” said project coordinator Olena. “We have matched 233 displaced Ukrainians with hosts providing accessible free accommodation so far but we have so many more waiting in hotels right now for long-term housing. We have seen a significant decrease in housing offers coming from communities and now Ukrainians are facing a real challenge finding available accommodation, especially as many short-term opportunities are also ending.”
UWBC’s housing program places safety and security as a top priority. Applications are rigorously vetted to ensure the most suitable matches based on the individual and family needs of arriving Ukrainians. All types of housing are needed, from rooms to suites, and both short and long-term accommodations. The most important factor is that it is safe.
To help British Columbians learn more about what kind of housing is needed and how they can help, UWBC is holding an Information Session on Monday, July 18.
Perhaps a person is leaving for the summer and has an apartment or house available or has an extra room for someone who needs short-term accommodation. This is an opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to supporting displaced Ukrainians arriving in our province.
For more information on the session email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To volunteer and help Ukrainians, visit www.ivolunteer.ca. To contribute to United for Ukraine, visit: https://donate.uwbc.ca/.
For support and resources, visit www.bc211.ca.