ReWA recently lost a treasured staff member: Yana Morozova.
For more than three years, Yana helped hundreds of women, men, and their families find housing and apply for green cards. For immigrants and refugees without rental or credit history, to say this would be challenging would be an understatement.
Before Covid, Yana could often be found in ReWA’s Kent and MLK offices, inviting new clients to sit across her desk to talk. Even tempered and compassionate, Yana would heard their stories: she listened to all the challenges they faced, as well as their hopes and dreams—for themselves and their families.
Then she would get to work: researching rental listings, filling out forms, and making calls. This is what it takes to help clients gain access to the complex systems for housing and immigration resources. Yana was dedicated to her job. Afterall, she knows what it’s like to move to a new country and start over.
Yana was born in Kazakhstan, the daughter of a military lawyer. Her family later moved to Razan, a suburb of Moscow, and she enrolled in the Moscow Academy to study law. She worked in the legal sphere for six years.
A few years later, she was given the chance to move to the U.S. with her new husband and son. She raised her children on the eastside of Lake Washington and worked as an administrator at a retirement home.
Her cousin, Maria, said, “This was a perfect job for Yana. She was very kind. She didn’t differentiate people by status or wealth.”
She went on to earn a paralegal degree from the University of Washington, and when she came to ReWA in 2018, she worked in the immigration program, helping to process Green Card applications so immigrants can find steady employment. She also worked in the housing department to help immigrants and refugees, including some escaping domestic violence situations, find shelter—whether it be transitional or their forever home.
Her colleague and friend, Sofia said, “Yana was so thorough—always on time and accurate, which is so important for clients in stressful circumstances. And she was also compassionate. She was such a hard working lady.” Over the past few months, as her health deteriorated, Yana’s colleagues said she insisted to keep working. They said that in some way, helping others was also helping her.
In January 2022, Yana succumbed to illness after many years’ struggle. Her family and friends remembered her this way:
“If love is the yard stick to measure success in life, Yana was wildly successful. Whatever and whomever she touched is better because of her. Yana’s life is a testament to love, kindness, and service to others and can be replicated.”