Local business owner fights to help families get back on their feet

VENICE, Fla. — A Bay Area business owner has opened his doors to Ukrainian refugees and encourages others to help in any way they can.

“It was like the third or fourth day of the war and Mathew said mum, I don’t think it’s a good idea to stay here because every time, every second there’s shelling. ” said Valeria Skorobohaca.

Skorobohaca said she had to explain to her children that they had to leave.

“I’m losing everything… I’m almost 36 and I’m a single mother and that’s why it’s a difficult decision for me to leave everything in this country that has done everything for me,” added Skorobohaca.

The damage left remains in the memory of children who wonder why they cannot return home.

“She had her favorite dinosaur. A T-Rex. She says, oh, where’s my T-Rex? We left him at home. Let’s go home. I would like to play with my trex. And it was kind of a very unusual thing to say oh you know that’s not gonna happen. We are not going to go home anymore,” said Vitalii Kostenko.

With a young girl and a pregnant woman, Vitalii Kostenko said he is relying on time to help the healing process, but with the help of others he is focused on what happens next.

“We are looking for medical providers, doctors, dentists, who can step in and help those few dozen people if they need to go see a dentist so that they can get some kind of assistance at the charitable level because that they are not qualified for any type of government assistance,” said Vladimir Durshpek, CEO of D-TRANS LLC.

Durshpek owns a business in Venice. He told ABC Action News he has dedicated a storage area full of essentials to the dozens of refugees he is working to help.

“I would say the biggest challenge is that these people are here legally. They are, by law, they are allowed to get jobs. But, they need their social security and permission to start.

There is still a long way to go, but Durshpek hopes others will join him in his fight to help Ukrainian refugees get back on their feet. He said anyone looking for ways to help can send an e-mail to his company.