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Russian market in Southeast Portland still a hub for Ukrainian refugees

Fatima Magomadova owns Roman Russian Market in Southeast Portland and has taken in 10 more refugees in the last six months.

PORTLAND, Ore. — The owner of Roman Russian Market in Southeast Portland continues to employ and house Ukrainian refugees more than six months after the war started with Russia.

Fatima Magomadova started helping refugees back in March. Since then, ten more refugees have joined her staff at Roman Russian Market. She said more want to come, but there's only so much work she can provide for them, so she's getting creative.

"I started to open a food cart in the state of Washington," Magomadova said. "Now I have a food cart and these people have amazing cuisine."

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The food cart will open soon in Vancouver on Mill Plain near PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center. Magomadova is also opening a sauna in Southeast Portland and plans to staff refugees there.

Refugees from Ukraine have been living in her rental properties and they come from all walks of life, including a married couple.

"Just recently came, Luba and Peter," Magomadova said. "Peter just turned 60, he was not able to leave Ukraine until retirement age. I got a job for Peter working as a construction worker."

Magomadova said the biggest needs right now for the refugees are affordable housing and jobs.

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"Unbelievable the amount of refugees that come here, the first people they call I think is me," Magomadova said. "Thank god I'm able to give other resources, other business owners that I know."

Magomadova said if any business owners need employees, they can contact her at Roman Russian Market; also if anyone knows of available affordable housing, she asked that they please contact the market.

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