Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) – JFCS East Bay Response to the Crisis in Ukraine
August 9, 2022 update: JFCS East Bay is now providing services directly to Ukrainian clients. As of this week, over 100 newly arrived Ukrainians have connected with us to receive the services described below.
How is JFCS East Bay serving Ukrainians?
JFCS East Bay cares very deeply about Ukrainian newcomers. We are able to provide the following assistance:
- Our Immigration Legal Services team is conducting legal consults for Ukrainians, helping with work permits, Temporary Protected Status (TPS), and other advice and counsel.
- Our Refugee Services team is currently providing welcome kits, including hygiene items, gift cards, and other resources.
- Our Volunteer Services team is providing food and grocery delivery, ESL tutoring, transportation assistance, translation services, and other resources to support Ukrainians. To sign up as a volunteer, please fill out the volunteer interest form.
How can I get involved?
- Donate to JFCS East Bay’s welcome efforts.
- Volunteer to help newcomers by filling out the volunteer interest form.
- Provide gift cards and toiletry items for newly arrived families. Email Ami Dodson for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Stay up-to-date on our efforts for more opportunities to help. Follow our Blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
- Add your voice to advocacy efforts, such as those found on the JFCS advocacy page.
I heard the U.S. is going to accept 100,000 people from Ukraine. What is the latest update?
- March 24, 2022: The Biden administration announced that the US would welcome up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees. No implementation details were provided.
- April 21, 2022: Biden announced the Uniting for Ukraine program, which allows people and organizations in the U.S. to sponsor Ukrainians for admission to the U.S. in temporary parole status (not as refugees). Under this program, only Ukrainians with “sponsorships” can enter the U.S. and they can only stay for a maximum of two years.. This program was created to allow Ukrainians to temporarily stay in the U.S. without creating financial strain on U.S. governmental resources, by passing financial responsibility and resettlement expenses to private sponsors.
What does sponsoring a Ukrainian entail?
(Please note that JFCS East Bay is not facilitating sponsorships directly. If you are interested in sponsorship, please contact HIAS regarding their Welcome Circles.)
Sponsoring a Ukrainian means that an individual or group in the U.S. is committing to “receive, maintain, and support” the Ukrainian for two years. This commitment includes significant time and financial assistance, including:
- Receiving the beneficiary upon arrival in the United States and transporting them to initial housing
- Ensuring that the beneficiary has safe and appropriate housing for the duration of their parole (up to 2 years) and initial basic necessities
- As appropriate, helping the beneficiary complete necessary paperwork such as for employment authorization, for a Social Security card, and for services for which they may be eligible
- Ensuring that the beneficiary’s health care and medical needs are met (and paid for) during the term of the parole (2 years maximum)
- As appropriate, assisting the beneficiary with accessing education, learning English, securing employment and enrolling children in school
- Applying to be a sponsor involves filling out an application, passing security and background vetting, and demonstrating sufficient financial resources.
Do Ukrainian parolees have access to refugee resettlement services and benefits?
No, individuals granted humanitarian parole under Uniting for Ukraine do not (as of April 25, 2022) have access to resettlement benefits.
Where can I find more information?
- Department of Homeland Security: United for Ukraine program info
- HIAS toolkit to sponsor Ukrainians, HIAS Welcome Circles
- Ukraine.welcome.us: Sponsoring a Ukrainian- Video
- California Department of Social Services: California Benefits for Ukrainian parolees
- AirBnB: Volunteer to House Ukrainians