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Grant will provide employment services to individuals from Ukraine

Shangri-La’s Youth and Family Services Program (YFS) was awarded an $85,000 grant from the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) to provide employment services to Ukrainian humanitarian parolees.  

 

Individuals granted humanitarian parole status, a form of refugee designation, are eligible for work authorization in the United States. Still, many need assistance upon arrival to obtain housing and gain employment necessary for self-sufficiency. 

 

Photo of ODHS tweet announcing the ODHS Refugee Program and available funding.

In the grant application, ODHS noted, "Refugees face many challenges when they arrive to the U.S. This may include adapting to the culture, securing housing and employment, learning English, accessing services, and navigating health and behavioral health care. Refugees must also work to understand U.S. state and federal laws, the job market, and the education system." 

 

Since Shangri-La’s Youth and Family Services Program already provides extensive employment support to individuals with barriers to employment, the grant’s purpose is a logical extension of the YFS’s work.  

 

Under the grant's provisions, the services must be delivered in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner.  As such, Shangri-La has hired two Ukrainian-speaking career coaches from Ukraine.  The career coaches will provide vocational assessments, resume development, job search, job training, and job coaching. Shangri-La will also connect program participants to re-certification or re-credentialing services for licenses, credentials, or certifications they held in Ukraine. 

 

The grant requires Shangri-La to provide services to at least 15 individuals by September 2024, but Shangri-La hopes the grant period is only the beginning of offering these services. 

 

“YFS has focused on diversifying its culturally specific services over the past year,” said James Lindekugel, Shangri-La’s director of employment services. “These services align with that focus and meet a need in our community.  Ideally, we’d like to continue to work with our ODHS family coach partners to continue offering these services after the grant period.” 

 

Between February 2022 and November 2023 alone, upwards of 4,500 individuals from Ukraine resettled in Oregon. The ODHS Refugee Program has awarded approximately $2,250,000 in grant funding to organizations throughout Oregon to provide housing, food, health, legal, and employment assistance to Ukrainian refugees. Learn more: https://www.oregon.gov/odhs/refugees/Pages/default.aspx 

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