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Lorain County residents, nonprofits rally around refugees from Ukraine

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Posted at 11:47 AM, Jun 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-21 12:31:27-04

SHEFFIELD VILLAGE, Ohio — Asleep at home with her family, Nataliaa Glotova found herself thrust into a life and death situation.

"We heard explosions, I was hoping it was a dream," said Glotova.

As Russian forces eventually moved closer to her hometown outside of Ukraine's capitol city, Nataliia, along with her children, fled the fighting and left her husband behind.

"He's helping our military," said Glotova.

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Nataliaa Glotova and her family.

The mom of two returned to Northeast Ohio, where the couple lived more than a decade ago.

"It's easier when you know somebody," said Glotova.

Glotova may be back in familiar territory but adding to the trauma of escaping Ukraine is that she and her children arrived here with nothing.

"You need everything when you come to another country," said Glotova.

A newly formed group LC4UKRAINE is helping refugees find what they need.

"It is important for Ukrainian people to feel that because they are scared," said Glotova.

More than 80 individuals and nonprofits are working to connect families with housing and support services.

"For all of us to come together that quickly, I'm not surprised at all by that, that's what we do in Lorain County when something needs to be addressed," said Alicia Foss, of Neighborhood Alliance.

Foss and her team have already helped six Ukrainian families find an apartment.

"We've had a total of 10 units that have been donated at this point and we're looking for more," said Foss.

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Nataliaa Glotova and her family.

With limited housing stock right now, there are concerns about keeping up at this pace.

"I am making a plea for any housing owner, or apartment owner that has a space to come forward and be part of this movement, it's a community effort," said Victor Leandry, El Centro.

An effort that's providing much-needed hope for Glotova.

"It is very important to feel that you are not alone with all of this," said Glotova.

As for what the future holds for Glotova and her family, that remains to be seen.

"We will stay here for now and then we'll see, I don't know," said Glotova.

For now, members of LC4UKRAINE will continue doing what they can to make this transition as smooth as possible.

"It's heartbreaking, but I am so glad there's a group of us here in Lorain County that are willing to help and able to help," said Foss.