By Bamidele Salako
The Calgary Catholic Immigration Society (CCIS) has received a generous donation from nonprofit organization, Airbnb.org, to provide temporary housing for Ukrainian evacuees in Canada.
As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine rages on, an estimated 82,708 displaced Ukrainians have been forced to seek refuge in Canada.
Many of these arrivals now face the threat of homelessness as the rental crunch in many Canadian cities persists.
In March of this year, Airbnb.org committed to “funding and facilitating free, short-term housing for up to 100,000 refugees fleeing Ukraine.”
Their commitment included partnering with local nonprofit organizations like CCIS to provide Ukrainian arrivals in different host cities around the world with short-term housing.
In October last year, the organization also partnered with CCIS to support Afghan refugees arriving in Canada.
This new donation for displaced Ukrainians is timely and comes on the heels of recent appeals by CCIS for more Canadian families to open their doors to new Ukrainian arrivals as temporary housing becomes increasingly difficult to find due to Canada’s ongoing rental crisis.
The donation will provide a significant boost to the Operation Ukrainian Safe Haven (OUSH), a CCIS-supported pan-Canadian initiative of the Canadian Immigrant Settlement Sector Alliance – Alliance canadienne du secteur de l’établissement des immigrants (CISSA-ACSEI)—a coalition of settlement services from across Canada working to provide displaced Ukrainians coming to Canada with a broad range of vital post-arrival supports.
“Airbnb.org’s contributions to address crucial, temporary accommodation for incoming Ukrainians exemplifies a major contribution in meeting incoming Ukrainian needs. We would like to thank Airbnb.org for their generous and important contribution,” said, Fariborz Birjandian CEO of CCIS.
“Canada has a long history of responding to international crises. As Canadians we should be proud that our governments, communities, and corporations have responded to the Ukrainian crisis by bringing over 82,000 vulnerable people to Canada. To meet the needs of people fleeing Ukraine, we need the entire community to be involved and contribute,” Birjandian added.
CCIS will be working closely with CISSA-ACSEI to connect displaced Ukrainians arriving in Canada to emergency housing.
“We are grateful to Airbnb.org’s donation that enables us to support service providers in their work to find housing for Ukrainians arriving in Canada,” said Katie Crocker, Interim co-Executive Director, CISSA ACSEI.
“This emergency housing will help families fleeing Ukraine with temporary stays as they navigate options for transitioning to long-term housing arrangements, with the support of our partner service providers in the settlement sector,” Crocker added.
With many Ukrainian families expected to arrive in Calgary specifically in the coming weeks, CCIS continues to welcome the support of Calgarian families interested in housing the new arrivals temporarily.
For information on how to support Ukrainian arrivals, visit: https://www.ccisab.ca/support-for-arrivals-from-ukraine
If you would love to host Ukrainian arrivals, kindly contact Marianna Solomchak, Project Manager for CCIS’ Ukrainian Services, at firstname.lastname@example.org.