April 26, 2023

Center of Hope for the City

Center of Hope for the City in the Bronowice district of Kraków.

A place for community, connection, and more. Our vision is not to have just a refugee shelter, and not just a transitional place from one place to another. Our hope is to have community, build community, and add to the surrounding community. When the war in Ukraine started we did our best to serve our Ukrainian friends as fast and as best as possible. Thankfully through various connections we were able to obtain funding to rent, run, and equip this home in the Bronowice district of Kraków for up to one year. It has been now 15 months, much longer than anyone anticipated. We are so thankful to so many donors (over $200,000 USD raised!), volunteers, leaders, and many others who have made this happen!

What’s next?

The 40 people who live in the home are safe until the end of June, which is when our current funding will run out. Many refugee shelters in Kraków have closed, and ours is one of the few remaining ones. Our next step is to transition the home into a sustainable place to operate Serve the City, have volunteer events, host guests, provide jobs for Ukrainians, and use the facility in ways that can generate a sustainable income that will power our volunteer projects and be a hope to the community around us. We are very thankful to our partner organizations which have found places for nearly all of the current residents. We will also employ one Ukrainian family to run the house… Run the house? You ask? YES

The idea is to make the rooms and beds available for volunteers from all around the world who would like to visit Kraków for all of this wonderful and amazing places, and who also want to give back to the community. This is known as “volunteer tourism” and there is a big potential that this can fund us in a sustainable way. We will also have rooms and beds available for interns, groups, and others who need a place to stay at a reasonable rate and want their money to give back to the community in a unique way. The income generated by this will not only cover the expenses of the home itself, but also provide jobs for four local people including the Ukrainian family, our project coordinators, house hospitality, and more. This will also allow us to maintain our current programs and services to the Ukrainian community.

We need your help

To make this possible we need to raise one year’s worth of operating costs (start up capital) which is estimated at $100,000 USD. At the moment we have an immediate need of $30,000 USD to extend our lease for another three months (and keep operating at full capacity), which will also allow us to transition people. Every donation matters, we are seeking corporate sponsors, foundation grants, and much more, but the easiest comes from people like you, who can freely give simply because you can and want to. It’s not just a donation, it’s a seed for hope and fuel to continue the impact we have already begun.

We will update this page with the latest information.