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Michigan bound? Local charities gear up to help Ukrainian refugees displaced by Russia's invasion

'We are just waiting with open arms.'
Ukraine Tensions
Posted at 3:52 PM, Mar 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-14 14:49:16-04

(WXYZ) — They are gearing up to help refugees fleeing from Ukraine. Metro Detroit agencies are already mobilizing efforts as deadly war wages on with Russia.

According to the UN, more than 1 million Ukrainians are now refugees. Another million are also displaced or on the move. That has attention of agencies here in metro Detroit ready to help.

As the state department works to help play a key role in giving Ukrainian refugees safe passage here, the process still remains a work in progress. That’s according to Mihaela Mitrofan with the social service agency Samaritas, which has a long history of finding shelter, food, clothing and other resources for refugees from around the world.

“Once they apply and get through the process, we anticipate some of them to resettle in Michigan. Samaritas has helped resettle in the past a pretty significant number of Ukranian refugees and we are just waiting with open arms.” says Mitrofan.

She points out refugees are now traveling through other European countries and it could be weeks or months for some to make it to Michigan. Yet here in southeast Michigan, a strong Ukranian Community is eagerly awaiting arrival of families and donations are being requested now. Other agencies are also getting additional resources together.

Among them, Jewish Family Services. Program Officer Julia Gaydayenko tells us, “We have staff who speaks Russian and Ukranian to provide care management. Care coordination. Benefit access. Transportation services and meals on wheels.”