INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF LOS ANGELES
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 09/01/2022
INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF LOS ANGELES RAMPS UP SERVICES FOR UKRAINIAN ARRIVALS
As Ukrainians displaced by the Russian conflict arrive, IILA is once again calling on the local community for assistance
LOS ANGELES, CA – Local nonprofit organization International Institute of Los Angeles (IILA) is currently ramping up its capacity to resettle and serve Ukrainians refugees in Greater Los Angeles.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that one-third of Ukrainians have been forced from their homes as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine which began a little over six months ago. Most Ukrainians displaced by the war will receive humanitarian parole, a temporary legal status to enter the US and receive employment authorization and certain public benefits. Welcome.US, a national coalition of resettlement agencies of which IILA is a member, reported that more than 58,000 Americans have offered to sponsor Ukrainians, with California as one of the top states projected to welcome Ukrainians.
IILA is currently initiating outreach efforts and hiring Ukrainian and Russian-speaking staff to welcome and respond to the needs of Ukrainian humanitarian parolees and orient sponsors on the resettlement process. Earlier this summer, IILA hosted a community forum to connect with sponsors and recently arrived Ukrainian displaced families. Immediately after the convening, IILA received over 100 inquiries from sponsors and Ukrainian displaced families. IILA is in the process of intaking about 20 Ukrainian families per week.
Like Afghan resettlement efforts over the past year, IILA is currently seeking volunteers, especially those who speak Ukrainian or Russian, to assist families applying for public benefits, conducting community orientations, and other resettlement tasks. IILA is also looking for donation of goods or money for families, host homes or landlords willing to rent their units to newly arrived Ukrainians.
“When Afghan families arrived over the past year, so many members of the community generously opened their arms to welcome our new neighbors. Nearly all our Afghan clients have found permanent housing and become members of our communities,” said Cambria Tortorelli, President and CEO of IILA, “We know that the community will once rally around Ukranian families and show them what a diverse and welcoming place Los Angeles can be.”
Those interested in taking action to help can visit www.iilosangeles.org/actnowforukraine. Information for Ukrainians in need of assistance is available at www.iilosangeles.org/resources-for-ukrainians.
International Institute of Los Angeles (IILA) is a nonprofit founded in 1914 to help newly arrived immigrants in Los Angeles. IILA’s mission is to provide skills, abilities, and resources to help families become self-sufficient and to promote cross-cultural understanding. IILA employs over 150 staff that provide child care, legal aid, employment assistance, transportation, nutrition, case management and other services to refugees, immigrants, survivors of human trafficking, and low-income working families. For more information, visit www.iilosangeles.org.
Cambria Tortorelli, President & CEO