Father Luke Fodor said Journey’s End will be opening a satellite office in Jamestown as both groups work on the “New Neighbors” program, “They’re applying for grant dollars to do that under a grant that’s really tied to the Ukrainian effort. And so as they expand a little bit into our region, they’re going to be using the volunteers that we’ve coalesced to help assist in many of these things.
Fodor said while they’re not expecting the arrival of refugees, or “new neighbors,” just yet in Jamestown, there are two programs ready to be implemented including the Community Sponsorship program, “Local partnership groups will raise about $3,000 to assist with some rental assistance (for refugees) for these first couple months while they’re getting themselves situated into the workforce and having the immediate needs they need met. And so we’ll have four to six people from various civic or church-based groups to be there as kind of a one-to-one support team.”
Fodor said an initial training for the Community Sponsorship Program will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Saturday, September 10 at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. He said a Cultural Competency Training is also required and will be offered virtually in late September or early October. Other future trainings will be available for those unable to make the one on Saturday.
Fodor said another program that anyone can help with is the donation of used or slightly used household items, “You have to remember that our new neighbors, unlike some other neighbors who might pull up in a truck and unload, fill up their apartments; these new neighbors are coming with really just the clothes on their backs. They’ve been in a dire situation, whether from war torn Ukraine or other war torn parts of our globe. And they’re coming with just the little that they have.”
Fodor said a centralized site for donations is still being worked on. He said financial donations can also now be sent to the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation with “New Neighbors” noted in the donation.