Thousands of Ukrainian families were forced to flee their homeland during the war.
Some have been welcomed with open arms into the Cloverdale community by residents providing new, temporary homes and much more.
Pam (who only wants her first name used) is one of several residents to open her doors. She has hosted six refugees from Ukraine, giving them shelter and helping with the basics of arriving in a new country.
“Some of the services we have helped with include medical appointments, rental property assistance, grocery shopping, trips to St. Brendan’s, banking, service set up like internet, utilities, and cell phones, driving to job fairs, rewriting resumes, and even attendance during interviews.” says Pam.
She admits the experience of hosting has been profound in many ways and she says she will fondly remember some small, moving details.
“One family was upset that their young son drew pictures on our deck. We thought it was wonderful and asked him to sign his art.”
For Pam, the new relationships and friendships are the most meaningful part of the experience and it’s bittersweet to see each new Canadian move on.
“As important as it is for them to move forward in their lives, it is also very hard to see them leave.”
Marilyn Mucha is another Cloverdale host. She helped four Ukrainian mothers and their children between July 2022 and April of this year.
“They were picked up from the airport, given shelter and help with resumes.” says Mucha, who also assisted with housing searches, finding schools for the children, and numerous details such as social insurance numbers, Alberta Health Care cards, bank accounts, even leisure centre passes and bus tickets to get there. She says the newcomers “love Cloverdale and amenities”.
Mucha wants to thank all the local families that showed their generosity.
“Their resettlement in our community is a difficult one and you helped immensely in making it a little easier.”