Operation Ukraine Humanitarian Mission

Day 10

The Ukrainian refugee children and mothers were taken to the local immigration office to register with the local authorities and apply for temporary protected status. The People and Deeds team took some of them to the pharmacy to fill some immediately needed prescriptions. In the early afternoon, the team headed to the final destination where the families are able to stay for a minimum of three months, where they can integrate and received the medical and social assistance they need.

Mihaela spent the last two days traveling from Suceava to Bucharest with a few stops in beautiful Bicaz Chei, Lacul Rosu, Harghita and crossing through Bucegi mountains at an altitude of 2000 meters. The scenery was absolutely astounding, and a great place for reflection and processing of the last 12 days intense experiences. The trip came to an end on Saturday, May 14th, when Mihaela arrived safely to her hometown of Troy, Michigan.

The refugee crisis in Ukraine is far from over. There are many ways to help refugees in your neighborhood, from monetary support to volunteering your time. Support Ukrainian Refugees in Michigan.

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* Important Notice *

Earlier this year, Samaritas was under investigation by the state for allegations of abuse in our emergency shelter in Grand Rapids. We opened this shelter 26 months earlier for children from Central America crossing the border fleeing from horrible condition; we were asked to take in Afghan youth when there was no other place for them to go after the crisis in Afghanistan occurred. We accepted 19 youth in response to this request and our long-term commitment to help youth to the greatest extent possible at the time of their greatest need. Samaritas was one of several similar emergency shelters across the country asked to take in these refugee youth.

Due to the severe level of trauma they had endured, many of them required intensive therapy and counseling. As a result of the growing concern we had for the depth and breadth of those needs of the youth and the safety of our team, we made the decision to work with our referring partners to move the youth to other programs where they could access the higher level of trauma-informed care, supervision, and medical attention that they required. Due to state and federal oversight of our programs, we are unable to share specific details of the investigation but we were cleared of any abuse allegations by the state and all youth were transferred to appropriate residential placements where they could receive the care they needed. Samaritas continues to be a state and federal leader in refugee resettlement, including refugee foster care.


Please Contact:
Joe DiBenedetto
Lambert & Co.
(516) 637-0597

Matt Friedman
Tanner Friedman Strategic Communications
(248) 762-1430