More To The Story: Giving Ukrainians a safe haven

Dave meets the people behind the Cleveland mission bringing Ukrainians to East Tennessee

CLEVELAND, Tennessee (WDEF) – In just a matter of only a few weeks, Ukraine has become a war torn country. Thousands killed in the war. Thousands leaving the country. Looking for a safe haven.

The Chattanooga area is quickly becoming one of those safe places.

The group Providence Haven Mission is just one organization, stepping up and trying to do as much as it can.

On a sunny, yet somewhat windy afternoon here in Cleveland, the chuch behind me is quiet now. However, the Providence Haven Mission is hoping it’ll be jam packed the first two Saturdays in May.

May 7th and May 14th. That’s when the Mission will hold fundraisers, at the church on Baldwin Street. Trying to gather enough money to help the refugees.

Lyudmila Voytso helped start the mission. She’s an American citizen, who grew up in the Ukraine.

“We live here and we have everything. If you think about people who are sufferring in Ukraine — I cannot describe it — Our heart is torn. If not us, who else can help?”

There are already at least ten refugee families from Ukraine in Cleveland. But Voytso and the Mission need more money. Money to get more refugees over here. We’re talking plane tickets. And places to live.

Voytso herself still has family in Ukraine. She hasn’t talked with them for weeks. She understands what an emotional spot the refugees are in.

“It’s hard not knowing what is going on, because you don’t know what’s happening to them all. You don’t know if they are safe. It’s simply all you can do is hope.”

The fundraiser on May 7th is 50 dollars per ticket. The one on the 14th is 20 dollars per ticket.

For more information, email

From Cleveland, Dave Staley, News 12 Now

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