December 7, 2022

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The Legal System

Law firm providing free legal aid to Ukrainian families

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Families can apply for temporary protective status, which the US Department of Homeland Security announced in March.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Starting over in a foreign country, after fleeing your own because of war, is something many of us have not and will not experience.

For Ukrainian families, that adjustment is still a work in progress.

“Just making sure their basic needs are covered has been essential,” said Veronica Gromada. 

Gromada and her law firm of Shook, Hardy and Bacon are working to provide free legal aid to at least six Ukrainian families who recently resettled  in Jacksonville.

“It’s the type of grassroots efforts that may, despite what may be going on politically, it’s the type of undercurrent in the DNA of this country that goes on everyday,” she explained.

She’s helping them apply for temporary protective status for the next 18 months, and it’s something the US Department of Homeland Security announced for Ukrainians in March.  

“We just need to see a lot more of this on a consistent basis,” she said.

RELATED: ‘I believe we can save lives’: Ukrainian refugee making medical kits in Jacksonville for civilian soldiers

Gromada is also getting help from a longtime friend and former law school classmate, herself an immigrant from Ukraine, who is working directly with families like the Stozhok’s who we introduced you to last month.

The family fled their home and were able to relocate in Jacksonville.

Gromada says more families are expected to find refuge here, and they could use some help getting acclimated.

“More needs to be done and whatever we can do as a greater society, I just implore everybody to do what they can,” she said.

If you would like to help those resettling in Jacksonville, you can email Natalia Plyam at [email protected]

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