Here's a press release from the Idaho Alliance for Ukrainian Immigrants and Refugees:
On May 28th, the Ukrainian Welcome Center will be hosting its grand opening event. The Center began providing services to Ukrainians who have been displaced by the war. Idaho has just over 200 Ukrainians already in our state, made up of more than 30 families. The Ukrainian Welcome Center will be offering a variety of services including education, housing, assistance with documentation, access to necessities such as food, clothing, and transportation.
Who is running the Ukrainian Welcome Center? The Idaho Alliance for Ukrainian Immigrants and Refugees is connecting multiple local organizations to this effort including the Boise Rescue Mission, Nazarene Churches, various Slavic Churches, Idaho Office for Refugees, the International Rescue Committee and many others. The Alliance invites all that are willing to give share their time, talent or treasure to join this effort.
“Our community has been very generous to the Ukrainian people who have found themselves in Idaho,” says Tina Polishchuk, Director of Outreach for the Alliance. “After everything that these families have endured, this is the least we can do. But it’s going to take a village to pull this off.”
Immigration programs are not yet available for these families, leaving many in limbo. The Alliance is looking to be the stop gap until more permanent solutions are ready for Ukrainians.
The Boise Rescue mission is coming along side this effort by donating space and other resource. The Mission has given the Alliance license to use what was previously known as the Lighthouse, for the Ukrainian Welcome Center; this center will be the hub were Ukrainians will receive services.
“When we closed the Lighthouse Mission due to a lack of Guests, we wondered what was next for the facility,” say Reverend Bill Roscoe, CEO of the Mission. “Now we know: God was making the building ready for these new Guests in desperate need of support. We are very pleased to offer our assistance and our facility to our Ukrainian brothers and sisters.”
Volunteers from the entire community are also coming forward. Pastor Nate Roskam from the Lakeview Park Church of the Nazarene, has coordinated volunteers over the last several weeks. Their church has opened an auxiliary location to the Ukrainian Welcome Center, and volunteers have taken on projects to get Ukrainians access to clothing, food, and transportation.
“In a cultural moment where it has seemed our community is divided along so many lines, the volunteer effort to support our new neighbors has been a reminder of the beauty of humanity and the common ground found love of neighbor,” says Roskam. “Efforts like this take a lot of effort, and we are so grateful for the way the Treasure Valley continues to step up in significant ways to not just talk about how great our community is, but to simply be a living testimony of hospitality and generosity.”
The Ukrainian Welcome Center, located at 304 16th Ave. North in Nampa, will open its doors to the public on Saturday, May 28th for a grand opening event from 10:00am-2:00pm. The grand opening event will have Ukrainian food, music, and activities for kids. Participants are encouraged to stop by learn about the center and provide a monetary donation that will go to Ukrainian families.