More Ukrainian families coming to Windsor-Essex
According to officials at the Ukrainian National Federation's Windsor branch, 10 families are coming to the area and could be here within the next two weeks.
“They're coming from areas like [the] Toronto area and Ottawa area because they are saturated right now and cannot handle the number of people that are coming in,” said Leisha Nazarewich, branch president of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress.
It is not known at this point how large the families will be but Carol Guimond, president of the Windsor branch, said families will get a free two week stay in a hotel, paid for by the government when they get here.
“After that we have to either find them a temporary place until they can find a more permanent place or if we're very, very lucky we can get them right into a permanent place,” said Guimond, who points to affordability as a reason our region is an option for these families.
“They're not able to access higher priced places, places they can put their whole family in,” she said.
Despite a low vacancy rate, Mark Lalovich, president of the Windsor-Essex County Association of Realtors, said the region should be able to accommodate the newcomers.
“They might have to do some ground work. They may have to look at it from the standpoint, where do they want to position themselves with their kids, their school. What they see themselves needing within this community,” said Lalovich.
Mary Lambros welcomed 13 Ukrainians to her LaSalle, Ont. home last year. Some have already returned home to Ukraine.
“They felt very depressed while they were here. Overwhelmed with our society and they felt they had left their country behind,” she said.
Another refugee landed a job and moved her family of four to Dubai.
“Because their children's English was so good they could go to a private school in Dubai so it [kind of] was a blessing in disguise that the kids learned English that well,” she said.
Others moved out and found new homes in the community.
“And now I'm moving back into my house, finally,” said a smiling Lambros who was happy to help the cause.
According to Guimond, donations are down 80 per cent in Canada since the beginning of the war but the need for help continues as this conflict rages on.
“We're really looking for more people just to take in some of the newcomers just for a short period of time until we can get them into more permanent housing,” said Guimond.
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