Maria Galbo, a resident of Albany, CA, started an organization that works to rehome elderly refugees from Ukraine’s dangerous eastern regions. The organization, “Under a Kind Roof”, visits shelters in western Ukraine to create profiles of refugees in need of permanent shelter, then finds, negotiates, and leases homes and apartments for them.
Maria Galbo, Stanislav Shoupletsov, and Elena Akopova negotiate rental terms with a landlord. The home has water damage and mold, and the landlord is boisterous and rude. Maria and her team decide to not lease the home.
Two dogs roam a property for lease in Chernivtsi. The landlord runs a car lot out of his property and the buildings are in poor condition.
Masha Galbo approaches a soviet-era apartment complex where a unit has become available for lease. Soviet style apartments like this one can prove difficult for elderly refugees with mobility problems, and leasing these types of apartments can come down to having a reliable elevator.
Maria inspects the balcony of a soviet-era apartment in Chernivtsi while air raid sirens ring outside.
Maria Galbo, Stanislav Shoupletsov, and Elena Akopova think this apartment could be a good fit. They discuss rental agreement terms with the complex representative.
A cat calendar is the lone decoration in the kitchen of a potential apartment.
Food scattered among the desks of a church office being used as a shelter for refugees from the fighting in the East.
Olema, 57, in a Church-turned-shelter, has to make the difficult choice to turn down an apartment because her multiple sclerosis would prevent her from climbing the stairs.
Maria Galbo and Stanislav Shoupletsov cross-reference an available apartment with their database of refugees in need to find the best fit.
A school hall in Chernivtsi that has been turned into a shelter hosting over 70 refugees, many of them seniors.
A school hall that has been turned into a shelter for elderly refugees. Summer break is about to end, and these residents are being asked to relocate.
Liudmyla Ivashchenko, 64, sits on her cot at a school-turned-shelter for refugees.
Paper angels, made by schoolchildren, adorn the windows at a school-turned-shelter for refugees.
Elderly refugees offer their stories and details to Maria so she can create profiles and her organization can try to find them more permanent shelter.
Viktor Kotylarov, 70, sits on his cot in the school hall to contemplate Under a Kind Roof's offer of help.
A mother and daughter pair do their laundry on the front lawn of the school where they have taken shelter.
Liudmyla Ivashchenko, 64, is the first candidate to view the newly leased apartment. She likes it, but insists she wants her own room after having no privacy for several months.
Liudmyla Ivashchenjo, 64, inspects the washroom of the new apartment.
Maria Galbo hangs the Ukranian flag from her apartment window in Albany, CA.
Maria Galbo with her family in Albany, CA. She and her husband take turns going to Ukraine to provide relief with their organization and partner organizations, and are away from their families for weeks at a time.
Maria Galbo continues to work her full itme job remotely when she travels to Ukraine. Her organization, Under a Kind Roof, can be found at www.underakindroof.com .