Jacksonville-area refugee organization monitoring situation in Ukraine

Tens of thousands of Ukrainians are scrambling to find new homes as Russia invades their country.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Tens of thousands of Ukrainians are scrambling to find new homes as Russia invades their country.

Most refugees are expected to go to nearby countries like Poland, but could they come to Florida?

News4Jax spoke with the Lutheran Social Services of Northeast Florida Resettlement Director Laura Cook. She said it is hard to say if the crisis will push the Ukrainian population this way.

RELATED: More than 100 Ukraine supporters march in downtown Jacksonville

“We have been updated by a national volunteer agency that works directly with the government that the state department are monitoring the situation and they are going to let us know if there are any changes to the travel of the individuals that are already booked to our organization they’re not sure what that’s going to look like but they are monitoring the situation,” said Cook.

According to Cook, Northeast Florida has received a steady pace of refugees from Ukraine over the past few years.

In the last week, Cook said, two Ukrainian families have traveled to Northeast Florida and another family is expected to come next month. She said these families aren’t escaping because of the invasion, but are traveling through the Lautenberg program.

“Which is for individuals living in the Soviet Union that are minority religion and individuals in the United States can apply for their families and that generally takes two years, so we do receive Ukrainian refugees throughout the year,” said Cook.

Despite so many unknowns, Cook said Lutheran Social Services is on standby for what the Ukrainian refugee situation will look like.


About the Author:

Reports weekdays and anchors The Morning Show on Saturdays and Sundays