Rochester, New York — In the coming months, Rochester could potentially receive hundreds if not thousands of Ukrainian refugees.
This comes after the Biden Administration said this week the U.S. will welcome 100,000 of those fleeing Ukraine.
Adam Chodak checked in with local refugee agencies to get their reaction on Friday. Rochester is already home to a large Ukrainian population.
According to Getachew Beshir with Catholic Charities, it’s his understanding many if not all of the Ukrainian refugees arriving here will have families to stay with. “What we heard is that it is more in the form of family reunion instead of new refugees as refugees we know. It is going to focus on people who have family members in the U.S. instead of other refugees,” Beshir said. If these refugees do need a place to stay, they may turn to Rochester Refugee Resettlement Services.
According to executive director Djifa Kothar, the only potential problem is the amount of housing they have to offer. “Usually every year we acquire like 6 properties, this year we haven’t done that, we’ve only gotten one so far because the prices have been going up so we haven’t been able to buy them as easily as we once were able to do,” said Kothar.
Kothar and Beshir say they’re ready to step up and step in. “We have the manpower already in place and we will be able to help, yes, but at the moment we don’t expect refugees to come, meaning it’s not going to be immediate,” said Beshir.
Both organizations, in their preparations, could use community support.