Refugee families need new housing, preferably around Ray School

Staff Writer

The Hyde Park Refugee Project is seeking housing for some families whose apartment leases will expire around the end of June, preferably in the vicinity of Ray Elementary School, 5631 S. Kimbark Ave.

“They had been thinking of moving out of the neighborhood earlier before their children were so involved in school here, before they had their jobs here and before they benefited so much from the friendships that have evolved with the volunteers in the neighborhood,” said Diane Rudall, a coordinator with the Refugee Project. “It’s been a very successful series of events leading to their independence.”

Rudall said the refugees are being encouraged to seek new housing on their own and they will make the ultimate decision on where to live, but the process is new to them. The Refugee Project has previously given the families donated clothing and other items. “Our mission is to see that they become independent, and they have been doing that very, very well,” Rudall said.

The families need two- to three-bedroom apartments with “reasonable” rent; those who want to help can contact the Refugee Project at

The Hyde Park Refugee Project was founded in October 2016 under the aegis of the Hyde Park and Kenwood Interfaith Council. The refugee families arrived two years ago.

“These are very devoted families. They are very education-conscious. They are adapting in terms of language and culture, and they’ve been looking after their homes very well,” said Rudall. “They would make good tenants.”