Assistance for Ukrainian Humanitarian Parolees with Resettlement
Vera Serova has been helping Ukrainian humanitarian parolees with resettlement in the U.S. since March.
She runs a social media group with ~4,500 members, where she and a few other volunteers consult Ukrainian arrivals on basic immigration and resettlement issues such as how to apply for a work permit, how to secure housing and find a job, how to apply for welfare benefits, how to enroll a child in school, and more. They have been working together with the Refugee Programs Bureau of California Department of Social Services, county refugee coordinators, and a few resettlement agencies to remove barriers to resettlement.
Vera has devoted significant time and effort to eliminate the confusion at the social services agencies about what Ukrainian parolees are eligible for in terms of welfare benefits and other assistance. She has personally helped a number of families to overcome difficulties in obtaining Medi-Cal health insurance, food stamps, and cash aid which helped them get by until they secured employment.
In addition, she has sponsored two Ukrainian families to come to the U.S. under the government’s Uniting for Ukraine program: one family of five has a baby with cystic fibrosis, and the other family of three has a disabled girl with spinal muscular atrophy. Both of these children were not receiving any treatment in Ukraine or Europe, and coming to the U.S. was their only chance to stay alive. Now they are receiving the needed treatments under Medi-Cal.