BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Help is on its way to Ukraine as the war with Russia rages on.
President Joe Biden recently approved a $40 billion aid package and now people in the U.S. can sponsor Ukraine families through the ‘Uniting for Ukraine’ program.
“This is the first time we’ve ever seen this kind of program in our 50 years or so of having a refugee resettlement program where the U.S. government is enabling individual families, individual citizens to sponsor a refugee family in this manner,” stated Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Baton Rouge (CCDBR) Executive Director David Aguillard.
He said they’ve been getting a lot of calls from people wanting to get involved.
“There’s been a tremendous outpouring of support for the Ukrainians as well. And it’s good to see that this avenue is open for residents,” said Aguillard.
CCDBR said although sponsoring a Ukrainian family can be rewarding, however, it takes a lot of commitment and resources.
“You would be helping them acculturate to our community. Learn how to shop at a Walmart. Learn how to make medical appointments. Learn how to enroll a child in school…” Aguillard explained.
Unlike Afghan refugees, local resettlement agencies will not have material support for Ukrainians.
“There is no housing assistance, there’s no employment placement services, there’s no orientation classes. All of it has to be taken on by the sponsor,” he said.
Sponsors must apply to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and submit to background checks.
To learn how to apply to become a sponsor, click here.