Hi, I am Peter Fekkes, founder of Shelter4Ukraine. On this page I will explain what Shelter4Ukraine can do for you – and what we can’t do – and how to use it.
But first: Why Shelter 4 Ukraine?
In the early days of the war, when I witnessed the long queues of refugees at the border, I asked myself “If I was in such a queue, what would I need?”. I figured the answer to this question was:
- I need a single window to search for shelter somewhere Europe and to contact hose hosts.
- I Can do this from my phone without using a lot of data,
- I need to trust this system to offer safe shelter for myself and my children,
- and it need to be fast, I can’t wait for long screening and matching processes.
That is why I build Shelter4Ukraine as one of the first web based apps for finding shelter in a as-safe-as-possible way without losing time in long screening and matching processes.
So, how can it be as-safe-as-possible and fast in the same time?
Unfortunately, 100% safety can never be guaranteed. But I believe people are perfectly capable of taking care of their own safety as long as they have the right information. Therefore we ask all members – both refugees as hosts – for a photo of their passports and hosts also for a photo of the header of a formal letter to check the current address. As soon as we have checked this, we delete these photo’s (for privacy reasons) and put a ‘checked’ mark instead.
Our safety protocol:
- We check identity of both refugees as hosts by checking the passport.
- We check the current address of the hosts by checking the header of a formal letter.
- We track the first contact between refugee and hosts.
- We inform the refugees about some basic safety rules.
- Members may deactivate their profile but can’t delete it, so al contacts can always be tracked back by police if necessary. However, all data will be deleted a year after the war is over and the data will not be used for any other purpose and – when deactivated – will not be visible to anyone.
With this safety protocol I am confident that we scare away human traffickers and other criminals and we offer an as-safe-as-possible platform for both refugees as hosts.
What can we offer you?
Shelter4Ukraine offer hosts:
- A platform to advertise your offer for shelter in a way alle refugees can find you and contact you.
- You contain control over these contacts. You receive the profile of the refugee who shows interest in your offer and then you decide to accept or decline this request for contact.
- You know wether the identity of this refugee is checked by Shelter4Ukraine.
Shelter4Ukraine offer refugees:
- A platform where you can search for shelter addresses in whole Europe, and read the profile and offer before getting in touch.
- You will know if the identity and address of the potential host are checked by Shelter4Ukraine.
- You can make first contact without giving your personal contact information, you only send your shelter4Ukraine profile.
- We keep tracking record of these contacts, in case of emergency you can be tracked.
What Shelter4Ukaine can not do:
- We do not search and match for you, S4U is a ‘do it yourself‘ platform.
- We do not arrange transportation.
- We can not advice about local rules and laws.
- We can not mediate between host and refugee.
I hope the information on this page helps to understands what we do and why we do this. I hope it helps Ukrainian people on the flee to find a warm home somewhere in Europe quickly. I known it did for quite a few (> 1000) already . But most of all I hope we won’t need this app anymore shortly. I hope the war will be over soon and all refugees can return to their beloved country and their loved ones over there.