In order to offer support to the people of Ukraine fleeing the war, community leaders and organizations within Owen Sound and Grey County came together in this project to offer housing and other integration services. BIG thank you to Tim Simmonds, City Manager, Derek Christie, City Property Manager and the Council of the City of Owen Sound for supporting this initiative and helping us out. Chapman's leased the building from the city at no cost.

They are currently renovating a building that will become a new temporary home for Ukrainian families - 4 apartments for 4 families. They do need volunteers to help with painting and cleaning this week and next.

A few community leaders came together to become a core of the steering committee and the main driving force behind this project:

* Robert Cordell, Wealth Share Inc.

* Neale and Maureen Kemp, Aspin Kemp & Associates Inc.

* Dennis Doidge, Doidge Building Centres Ltd.

* Ashley and Lesya Chapman, Chapman’s Ice Cream

Now they are working with YMCA of Owen Sound Grey Bruce and their settlement services, Welcome Grey Bruce and other organizations within the community to build a strong support system for Ukrainian families who will become a part of the Ukrainian Village of Owen Sound.

This community project is the first of its kind in Canada. Those involved hope to build a roadmap that can help other communities to offer meaningful help to the people of Ukraine.

"On a personal note, I was deeply touched by the way so many people united to help, to commit an exorbitant amount of time and hard work to make this vision a reality," said Lesya Chapman who was born and raised in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.

The Ukrainian Village of Owen Sound will be dedicated to Ukrainians with a Canada-Ukraine authorization for emergency travel (CUAET) visa and will serve as a transitional hub. The Village will offer accommodations, community and social assistance, connection to employers and other much needed support. The goal of The Village is to minimize settlement challenges and barriers for Ukrainians coming to the area. The Village’s focus is to support women with children, as Ukrainian men are currently not allowed to leave Ukraine. After the initial settlement phase and adjustment, the goal is to help these families transition to accommodations of their own, thereby potentially freeing spaces for additional Ukrainian families.

Anyone who wants to help with painting and cleaning can email  to this address: [email protected]  A local Facebook page for volunteers and those who want to help: Ukrainian Village Of Owen Sound | Facebook






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