To promote community empowerment, leadership development, self-reliance and health promotion for the greater Ukrainian/Russian speaking community in U.S. and abroad.
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 (UCCWa), located in Renton, Washington, has been helping Ukrainian/Russian speaking refugees and immigrants from the former Soviet Union overcome language, cultural, educational and social barriers. We have greatly expanded and provide many programs and services such as: child and youth after school programs, parenting education, naturalization classes, services and classes for seniors, and many other programs. 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. As of today we have a total of three corporate offices which are located in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties of Washington State in U.S. In total we have eight bilingual staff members, and 15 volunteers who all speak Russian, Ukrainian or Polish.