Oleg and Vladyslav’s Journey From Temporary Shelter to Permanent Housing

Juliia Bordiug | June 7, 2024

As members of the Housing team, we are assisting refugees from various countries who encounter numerous challenges when seeking permanent housing or transitioning into tenancy. It is of utmost importance to educate our clients on the rental process and the functioning of the rental market. We strive to provide comprehensive support in locating all necessary rental resources.

Given the diverse backgrounds of our clients, hailing from different countries and cultures, we offer detailed guidance on becoming successful tenants, encompassing timely payment, adherence to recycling policies and other tenant obligations. To effectively aid our clients, it is essential for us to collaborate not only with them but also with landlords who are open to renting to refugees. Our Housing team works hard in order to maintain good relationships with current landlords while actively seeking new opportunities to expand housing options. 

One story that made an impact on me was Oleg and Vladyslava, both of whom were compelled to leave Ukraine due to Russia’s invasion and subsequently arrived in the United States in 2023. After residing in Connecticut for a few months with their sponsor, they made the decision to relocate to New Jersey in pursuit of enhanced employment prospects. Recognizing their urgent circumstances, Oleg and Vladyslava sought assistance from CWS and were referred to the Housing department.

The Housing team promptly provided temporary shelter, specifically designed for emergency situations, to accommodate this young family. Throughout their stay, the Housing team maintained regular communication with the clients, offering guidance and support to foster self-sufficiency and facilitate the search for permanent housing.

Our team conducted comprehensive consultations, during which we gave the family valuable insights into the current rental market in New Jersey, along with detailed instructions on the necessary steps to become successful tenants. 

Upon settling into the shelter, Oleg and Vladyslava diligently pursued employment opportunities and were able to secure jobs within a few weeks. Although the Housing team presented several permanent housing options during this period, the clients opted to remain in the shelter for the entirety of the allowed duration, utilizing this time to save money and meticulously plan their transition. After three months, the family had accumulated sufficient funds for their future move-in and gathered official pay stubs to demonstrate their financial stability to potential landlords. 

Eventually, they successfully secured a beautiful two-bedroom apartment in New Jersey, which they shared with another Ukrainian tenant who had also been residing in our shelter.

Juliia Bordiug is the Housing Navigator with CWS Jersey City. To learn more about the work of CWS Jersey City, click here.