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Harvard students' website aims to help Ukraine refugees find housing

Russia-Ukraine War-Refugee Housing Tool
Posted at 12:33 PM, Apr 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-05 16:13:28-04

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Two Harvard University freshmen have launched a website designed to connect people fleeing Ukraine to those in safer countries willing to take them in.

The platform, UkraineTakeShelter.com, is generating offers of help and housing worldwide.

Eighteen-year-old Marco Burstein of Los Angeles and 19-year-old Avi Schiffman of Seattle say they were moved to act by the plight of Ukrainian refugees desperate to escape Russian bombardment.

More than 18,000 prospective hosts have signed up on the site to offer assistance to refugees.

And refugees, in turn, have been registering to find matches with hosts in their locations.

On a recent day, Burstein and Schiffman logged 800,000 users.

One of those who has used the website to help refugees is a man in Sweden, who opened his home to 45-year-old Ukrainian evacuee Oksana Frantseva, her 18-year-old daughter, and their cat, the Associated Press reported.

Schiffman said he felt inspired to do something after attending a pro-Ukrainian rally in California.

According to the United Nations, since the invasion began in late February, more than 4 million Ukrainians have fled the country, half of them children, the AP reported.