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Support needed for more refugee families in Tallahassee

Posted at 11:00 PM, Sep 18, 2022

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Teressa Fillmon has a special connection with the Ukraine and the people there.

"We spent half of our lives in the Ukraine."

Starting the organization His Kids Too in 2000, Fillmon focused on helping Ukrainian orphans, at one point, helping more than 5000 children without families.

Now, back home in Tallahassee, she's helping relocate Ukrainian families to the Capital City. Families who were forced out of the country when tensions started between Russia and the Ukraine.

"In the background, I have to find housing, I have to figure out how they'll get around town, I've got to figure out who's going to pay for food, so again, we have to rely on the general public or churches or organizations, whoever wants to help us financially give tax deductible donations to us," said Fillmon.

Leo Makarov's family came to Tallahassee with the help of his kids too. They have been living in here for three months.

"We're happy that we're here and we can start our lives once again," said Makarov.

In order to to come to the United States, families like the Makarov's can be required to have a sponsor.

In order to work, there's an additional process that needs to be followed. One that Leo and his family are still working through three months later.

"I was considering my self being a teacher here, but I cannot even apply for a job because I don't have the permission," said Makarov.

While the process can be frustrating at times, Leo remains grateful for the support he's receiving with housing, food and other every day needs.

"With this moral support and people trying to help us, you know, we feel that," said Makarov.