Since February, we all have watched as more than 6.4 million Ukrainians fled for safety to neighboring countries. Many have started to make their own way to the United States, and Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area (LSSNCA) has already welcomed roughly 100 Ukrainian women, children, and seniors arriving in the Greater Washington D.C., area. We want to continue serving all those who come to our doorstep seeking a community to welcome them.
The extension of humanitarian parole and temporary protected status (TPS) by the Biden Administration to evacuating Ukrainians allows for their immediate protection from deportation while in the United States, but only assures up to a two-year (per a U.S. government decree) temporary stay in the U.S. Though ineligible for many government benefits, the May 2022 Ukraine Supplemental made Ukrainians with humanitarian parole eligible for some Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) benefits such as Medicaid, food assistance (SNAP), or temporary emergency funding (TANF).
However, federal funding and support to resettlement agencies, like LSSNCA, has been forfeited for this community leaving us critically dependent on donations to serve Ukrainians arriving at our doors. Ukrainians who arrive to the United States through the U.S. government's Uniting for Ukraine program are sponsored by a private citizen. Sponsors commit to covering their bills that will not be offset by government benefits or support for two years, however, it may take several months for someone to receive employment authorization to work in the U.S. and navigating application systems can be difficult.
LSSNCA is providing Ukrainians with emergency housing assistance funds, referrals for medical care, and several other essential basic needs and services.
We're creating pathways to support Ukrainians - whether they are seeking asylum, reunifying through the Lautenberg program, or arriving with humanitarian parole and sponsored directly by neighbors like you. We’re here to provide our experience, network, and services as we all welcome our new neighbors fleeing for safety. However, our support requires private funds as the U.S. government is not using the U.S. resettlement program for Uniting for Ukraine. Your donation will help us provide direct assistance to Ukrainians and support for their sponsors.
If you have questions about offering relief to Ukrainians, email us.