Pittsburgh Jewish Family and Community Services Ready to Assist Ukraine Refugees When Needed – CBS Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — As tensions rise in Ukraine every day, more than a million people have fled the country.

That begs the question – could Pittsburgh start taking in Ukrainian refugees?

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With every pressing day more Ukrainians fear for their lives as Russian aggression continues and many of them have no other home.

However, Pittsburgh has long been a transplant for refugees.

Jordon Golin, the CEO of Pittsburgh Jewish Family and Community Services, says they are open to help, as they have in the past, but the refugee process takes years to complete.

“Usually people are evicted from their country and the United Nations decides that they count as refugees,” Golin explained. “That they will not be able to return home or else they may become victims of persecution on grounds of nationality, race, religion or any other reason. After that, the US government conducts its review process.”

You may be wondering why the process is taking so long, considering Afghan refugees were housed in the US in a matter of months.

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According to Golin, not all situations are the same.

“Afghan refugees were already known to the US because they were US employees through the government or the military,” he said. “We already had personal information on file, we were checked before it was brought into the country. With Ukraine, we need to see if they can return home. Are these permanent or temporary displacements? The UN must decide whether they meet the criteria to be considered refugees in the formal sense of the word.”

Once the process begins, he said the JFCS is ready to stretch out its arms to help anyone.

“We are making arrangements ahead of time to ensure families have a place to live,” Golin said. “We know who they are, how many people are in the families so we can make arrangements, then we actually go to the airport, meet them, greet them. Bring them to your home or apartment, we will enroll them in school and make sure everyone gets medical attention.”

The JFCS said the process could take anywhere from two years to two decades for some families.

Meanwhile, Golin said they have set up a page on their website that will give you all the information you need if you want to help Ukraine.

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You can find out more at this link. Pittsburgh Jewish Family and Community Services Ready to Assist Ukraine Refugees When Needed – CBS Pittsburgh


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