Central Kentucky families open their homes to Ukrainian refugees

Host families can be matched with Ukrainians through the "Ukraine Take Shelter" website

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Two Harvard students developed a website to connect Ukrainian refugees with available host families worldwide. Many central Kentuckians have registered on the website Ukraine Take Shelter to be a host.

Imagine having to flee your home in the middle of a war, the fear and the unknown surrounding everyday life. For some families in Lexington, the heartbreak they feel for Ukrainians during this war is enough to make them take action, by opening up their hearts and their homes.

“Watching the massive exit of Ukrainian residents from their country, knowing that there’s millions of people that are leaving the turmoil,” says Kimberly Peterson, a potential host through Ukraine Take Shelter.

According to the United Nations, just under 3.4 million Ukrainians are fleeing. Peterson says it only took a week of seeing how many Ukrainians were in need for her and her husband to offer up their spare rooms.

Though there hasn’t been a surge of Ukrainian refugees in the United States yet, some hosts say offering up rooms brings mixed feelings.

“If they happen to come to Lexington, our doors are open,” says Peterson.

“I’m sorry that it is needed but as needed we certainly want to be there,” says Carrie Brogden, another potential host in the Lexington area.

Brogden says her decision to host refugees feels personal, and a bit like history repeating itself, as her great great grandfather fled Italy during World War II.

“The difference now is, we have the real time, we see what’s going on. I mean, we’re not, I think people were different back then in the 40’s, they didn’t have the information, the cameras, the video. Now, everything is real time and you can see what’s happening,” says Brogden. “What’s happening to the children and the families and all these peaceful, peaceful towns that were just completely upended. I wish we could do more.”

Brogden wishes some good can come from the evil and people’s lives can be saved. These hosts encourage others if you have the means and space to take in refugees, to sign up.

The Ukraine Take Shelter website with information on how to become a host family can be found HERE.

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