To promote community empowerment, leadership development, self-reliance and health promotion for the greater refugee/immigrant community in the State of Washington.
In 1992, three volunteers residing in Washington State who became fluent in English and learned how to navigate the health and human service systems began providing interpretation services for individuals in the Ukrainian community and assisting families with applications for public benefit programs (e.g. AFDC/TANF, housing, Medicaid and SSI). During that year, the volunteers assisted about 40 individuals.
Although the volunteers explored establishing a community center in 1995, the Ukrainian community did not support the concept. However, in 1997, the volunteers found that they were spending more time working with youth through after-school and counseling/emotional support programs, and the community agreed that it was important and timely to establish a community center. Therefore, in June 1998, the Ukrainian community established UCCW.
Since 1998 the Ukrainian Community Center of Washington (UCCW), located in Seattle, Washington, has been helping Eastern European refugees and immigrants predominantly from the former Soviet Union overcome language, cultural, educational and social barriers. We have greatly expanded and provide many programs and services such as: early learning program, youth after school programs, family support, senior services, immigration services, behavioral health services, and many other programs.
FROM THE BOARD
Our purpose is not only to assist and educate the Ukrainian/Russian community but to provide them with a sense of unity and well-being, and by doing so we help them avoid negative influences such as drugs, alcohol, and gang-related activities. In total we have six bilingual staff members, and 15 volunteers who all speak Russian, Ukrainian or Polish.