Lutheran Community Services Northwest prepares to help Ukrainian refugees

Published: Mar. 25, 2022 at 12:18 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) – Lutheran Community Services Northwest has several Ukrainian and Russian nationals on staff and the organization is now getting ready to help more who may soon come here.

Now a month after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, President Biden says the United States will accept thousands of refugees.

The staff at Lutheran Community Services Northwest says resettling refugees is a task for which they are well suited.

In the past five years, the agency has already welcomed more than 21,000 people in from Ukraine and helped them build new lives in Vancouver and the Portland area.

“We pick them up at the airport. We get them settled in housing immediately,” says Matt Misterek of Lutheran Community Services Northwest. “We have case workers and volunteers who do everything from arranging transportation to getting them settled in schools, health care, helping with drivers licenses, furniture, household items.”

Misterek says they don’t know when or how many refugees may end up in the area and the resettlement process normally takes years with some exceptions like the Afghan airlift. Unless the federal government creates a similar program for Ukrainians, it could be some time before they settle here.

Currently, the organization can use everything from cash to amazon wish list fulfillment to hands on help.

Visit their website by clicking here for more information.