Moncton Ukrainian Club to offer temporary refugee housing in former church – New Brunswick


The Ukrainian Club of Moncton is renovating the basement of a former church to  provide temporary housing to Ukrainian newcomers.

Natalia Haidash, on the executive committee, said “there will be seven rooms downstairs, with two full bathrooms, and a great huge community kitchen. We can place up to 30 people at the same time there.”

Currently they are using the basement at the site of the former St. Andrew’s Presbytarian church in downtown Moncton to sort through donations for newcomers.

They began operating as a drop-off site on Tuesday, after local entrepreneur Roméo Goguen offered them the space rent-free.

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Haidash said they were immediately overwhelmed by donations of housewares, clothing and children’s toys.

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“We started actually asking newcomers to please come get this stuff because we don’t have space,” she said.

The Ukrainian Club has a second warehouse for storage already, while maintaining their drop-off site at the YMCA in the North End.

“It’s two different projects,” Haidash said. The YMCA drop-off is for donations to go to Ukraine, while the new drop-off site is for donations for newcomers to Moncton.

Volunteers like Tania Lasaga-Mallaley had their work cut out for them as the donations kept piling up on Saturday morning.

“It’s really great, you get to meet a lot of people here and share stories, and understand their stories, and welcome them to Canada. It’s awesome,” she said.

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Donors like Moncton’s Christian Arseneault came to unload their trunks.

“The best way we thought we could help out was cleaning our house, looking at what the kids weren’t using and giving it to some other kids that could use it,” he said.

Haidash said newcomers are coming daily to pick up donations, and the greatest needs currently are for clothing hangers, shelves, and anything that could be used to store and organize donations.

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She encourages those interested in donating items or volunteering their time to consult the Ukrainian Club’s Facebook page or contact them directly.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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