Metro Vancouver parish getting ready to welcome Ukrainian refugees

A Metro Vancouver parish that has been raising money for Ukrainian aid is now preparing to welcome refugees.

Rev. Mykhailo Ozorovych, pastor at Holy Eucharist Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in New Westminster, said he was part of the roundtable discussions with BC Premier John Horgan on Friday to discuss what steps the province needs to take to be ready.

“We don’t know what our final roles will be,” Ozorovych said. “We are patiently awaiting final announcements.”

He said there are still a number of decisions to be made, including what kind of refugee visas will be able to apply for and what kind of government support they will be eligible for. The parish has already been securing housing and other supports for refugees it knows are coming.

But more assistance is likely to be needed.

“For now, we are just gathering a database of people who are willing to give temporary housing to those from the war – in their basements, spare bedrooms,” Ozorovych said, adding they’re also creating databases of child-care options and translators .

The parish has been running perogy dinners for 20 years, but Saturday afternoon’s was special, as all proceeds were going to the Ukrainian support efforts.

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