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Ukrainian family finds safe haven in San Diego

Posted at 8:13 PM, Apr 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-24 23:45:05-04

POINT LOMA, Calif. (KGTV) — San Diegans continue to open their homes to Ukrainians fleeing the war with Russia.

"It's very good to be here. It's like a miracle really," Anastasiia Kim said.

Sunday, the Kim family spent the morning getting haircuts as the children prepared for their first day of school in the U.S.

Anastasiia said it's the first sense of normalcy they've had in a while.

The family was living in Kyiv when the Russian military invaded Ukraine. Their home quickly became a warzone.

"It was very uncomfortable and uncalm in Kyiv," Anastasiia said.

Anastasiia and her husband, Paul, decided to pack up and flee with their three children to safety.

They spent weeks traveling through Europe before arriving in San Diego on April 15.

Joel Tubao said he got a call asking to host the family.

"We would have liked to help anybody, but a family would be great so we weren't going to turn them away," Tubao said.

The family is temporarily staying in Tubao's guesthouse in Point Loma. Tubao said it was during a conversation with Paul that he realized just how much the help meant to them.

"He [Paul] said 'this is the first time in weeks that I've felt calm,' and it brings you down to Earth," Tubao said.

The couple is now focused on obtaining work permits.

"We need to find a job, and after we find a job, we can get an apartment and we can move," Anastasiia said.

She said they're grateful for Joel's kindness as they work to rebuild.

"Joel... he's a very helpful person. he knows many people and he connects us with them and they are very helpful," Anastasiia said.

The family isn't sure yet whether they'll return to Ukraine immediately after the war is over.