Ukrainian Village is a transitional housing initiative that provides free, safe, and supportive housing for Ukrainians fleeing war, and starting a life here on Vancouver Island.
Ukrainian Village opened in Victoria August 6th, 2022. It is a partnership between the Ukrainian-Canadian Cultural Society of Vancouver Island, the Kiwanis Club of Victoria, St. Nicholas the Wonderworker Ukrainian Catholic Church, Help Ukraine Vancouver Island Society, the Ukrainian-Canadian Congress (Victoria Branch), the Capital Regional District, and the Victoria Foundation.
The village has 13 rooms, similar to large dorm rooms. They have at least two single beds and a small kitchenette with a fridge, microwave, and coffee maker, as well as a private washroom with a shower. There is also a communal kitchen and living area, as well as free on-site laundry facilities.
It is intended for women, single mothers, seniors, and people with disabilities to stay for up to three months before moving into their own place. Consequently, there is a regular rotation of people coming through.
The guests of Ukrainian Village are provided support in a space that is filled with community members, so they don’t feel isolated. In cooperation with Help Ukraine Vancouver Island Society, VICCIR and many volunteers, Ukrainian Village provides its guests with English classes, counsellor services, and grocery supplies. Many volunteers help the guests to settle into a routine, obtain necessary documents, update resumes, and apply for jobs, while ensuring a safe and friendly environment.
If you are a Ukrainian who meets the above criteria, who would like to apply for a spot at Ukrainian Village, please complete the application for assistance.
If you would like to volunteer, please complete the volunteer application.
Monetary donations can be made to St. Nicholas the Wonderworker Ukrainian Catholic Church.
Donations of some physical items may be accepted, as needed. For details, please contact Liuba.
For almost a year now, the Ukrainian Canadian Cultural Society of Vancouver Island has been managing and supporting a temporary housing project for Ukrainians affected by the war in Ukraine.
With the support of sponsors and private donations, the Ukrainian Village exists and provides a free and safe shelter to the most vulnerable population – women, single mothers with children and the elderly. About 50 people have already received the opportunity to live for free for the first three months in Canada and use this time to get the necessary documents, undergo a medical examination, enroll in English courses, find a job and rent their own housing.
The pictures show our guests from Mariupol: Tamara, her daughter Oksana and grandson Daniel. The family was forced to seek asylum, first in Poland, where Daniel was born, and now they live in Canada, where Daniel recently celebrated his first birthday in the Ukrainian Village.
If you would like to support our project and people fleeing the war, please send your donations here (option 2).
Unfortunately, the war is not over yet and any amount will help us to keep this charitable project afloat.
Ukrainian newcomers celebrate first Christmas in Canada
Dec. 19, 2022
Newcomers living at Victoria’s Ukrainian Village told CHEK News emotions are high, but Canadians are bringing some holiday cheer.
Mira Balokha, and her two-year-old daughter Mariia, moved to the village just three weeks ago after fleeing Ukraine.
“We left everything behind, we lost a lot,” Balokha said. “You think your life is over. It’s really hard.”
She explained that moving this close to the holidays and away from family put major stress on her and her daughter, but those running the Ukrainian Village have put a lot of work into bringing some holiday magic back.
“Every day we are receiving some small gifts and presents. It’s so exciting to wake up and see what we will have today,” Balokha said.
The daily presents range from chocolate to a small present, almost like an advent calendar.
“I’m so happy and lucky to be here,” she added. “They really care. It’s like a family.”
Karmen McNamara, general manager of Help Ukraine VI Society, said they are trying to do their best to make a special Christmas.
She said the society is trying to limit the emotional and financial stress Ukrainian newcomers could be facing by organizing celebrations and collecting Christmas presents.
Ukrainian Village opens creating supportive transitional housing for refugees
Aug. 6, 2022
A transitional housing initiative for Ukrainian refugees in Victoria officially opened Saturday afternoon.
Ukrainian Village aims to provide free, safe and supportive housing for Ukrainians fleeing their country’s war with Russia, and starting a life here on Vancouver Island.
Devon Sereda Goldie, president of Victoria’s Ukrainian-Canadian Congress branch, said the Ukrainian Village will be for families that are ready to leave a host family situation, but aren’t quite ready to be fully living on their own.
“A next stage to provide them a little more support and provide them support in a space that is filled with community members so they don’t feel isolated,” Sereda Goldie said. “And they feel like they are able to work on their English skills, work on finding a job, getting everything they need so they can be successful and independent.”
The village has 15 rooms and can house 45 Ukrainians. Sereda Goldie said the rooms are very similar to dorm rooms. They have at least two single beds and a small kitchenette with a fridge, microwave and coffee maker, as well as a personal washroom with a shower. There is also a communal kitchen and living area.
She says it’s meant for families to stay for about three months before moving into their own place so there can be a rotation of people coming through.
“With Help Ukraine Vancouver Island, we have been placing Ukrainians. We currently have a wait list of over 2,000 people who want to come here to the island,” Sereda Goldie added. “So as people have stayed for 90 days, we’re trying to bring in new people through our existing host.”
A few residents have already moved into the village and are calling it a safe haven.
Iryna Hromova is living in the village with her two-and-a-half-year-old son after fleeing her hometown of Kyiv. She said this is a great opportunity for her to save for her own apartment and adjust to Canadian culture.
The Ukrainian Village is a partnership between the CRD, Help Ukraine Vancouver Island, the Kiwanis Club of Victoria, St. Nicholas the Wonderworker Ukrainian Catholic Church, the Ukrainian-Canadian Congress Victoria Branch, the Ukrainian Cultural Society of Vancouver Island, and the Victoria Foundation.
“It’s been such a learning curve for all of us. We have been so grateful to the community who stepped up and helped make this possible so that we can assist Ukrainians and provide this safe space,” Sereda Goldie said.
She added they are looking for some more furniture as only seven of the 15 rooms are ready to go.
Monetary donations can be given to St. Nicholas the Wonderworker Ukrainian Catholic Church.