The Cross Border House came together in Poland

to meet the needs of Ukrainians seeking shelter from war.

An Open Letter

Welcome from The Cross Border House

We are very excited to announce the launch of the War Diaries due to be published in February, 2024 under the title, Sunflowers at my Table: War Diaries of a Ukrainian Community. (A White Crow Books publication, London).

The Cross Border House no longer operates as a physical shelter to the original Ukrainian residents, though still functions as a foundation supporting these and other refugees in need of assistance.

In July, 2023, our lease expired in Sichów Duży. The residents were compassionately relocated to individual, private accommodation by a generous grant from the John and Mima Kulle Foundation. Not everyone who resettled needed more help from us, but for those who still do, we thank our donors for their unsparing contributions.

If you are a first time visitor to the website, welcome. I invite you to look upon these pages as a visual story of what was possible when the human spirit responded ‘yes’ to a crisis. For the first time visitor, The Cross Border House will seem like a place of surprise and wonder, of unlimited possibilities; we didn’t call our summer theatre production HappyTown for nothing. It was a place like none other I’ve ever known. Forty people, displaced by war, living in harmonious chaos, working together daily, managing as best as one could, individual emotions, fears, hopes and the uncertainty of a secure future.

The purpose of The Cross Border House was to create a high functioning shelter for the resident to regain balance and dignity. This blueprint is one that we still stand by, even though we are without a physical space. In turbulent times, when so many are escaping the persecution of occupation, the hazards of war, including the outgrowth of starvation and homelessness, loss of work and family, left with nothing, a place like The Cross Border House is our answer to what is achievable. On a small scale, creating space for a displaced person in which they can regenerate themselves is essential to their holistic health.

For the first time visitor, I encourage you to walk through the website as you would a museum. The photographs, stories, projects, initiatives, and physical space are what is possible when such a model is put into place.

For those of you who have been with us from the start, our ethos has not changed: Partnering displaced people in their need to assimilate into a new cultural situation with dignity.

The Cross Border House website hereafter will be one devoted to the protection and renewal of displaced persons through the lens of story, service, raising awareness, and community outreach.

Thank you for visiting with us today.

Amber Poole Kieniewicz

Book Release

The Cross Border House is pleased to announce the publication of the War Diaries. Sunflowers at my Table: War Diaries of a Ukrainian Community will be available on February 24, 2024, in paperback and e-book format. All proceeds go to the support of Ukrainian refugees.

Links for where to purchase Sunflowers at my Table:

What we do

How we help


Help, hope and opportunity

The Cross Border House came together in Poland to meet the needs of Ukrainians seeking shelter from war. The holistic philosophy of care and service supports a sanctuary for our residents to reclaim their sense of human dignity, hope and optimism. When all has been taken away, The Cross Border House is here to offer the space and the time so that each individual may have the opportunity to restore meaning and purpose to their life.

The Cross Border House Fundraiser

A Virtual Visit to The Cross Border House

On Sunday, April 2, 2023,
Amber Poole Kieniewicz, The Jung Center Houston

I have titled this talk, The Bewilderment of Being of a War Refugee. Bearing in mind there are 7 different types of refugees, within each classification a life-threatening reason to leave one’s homeland. Hunger, persecution, physical violence, those without documentation, otherwise known as stateless, but in this case, war.


Meet Stepan, our son.

He recently turned 13 years old. We haven’t seen him for almost half a year, 180 long days and nights to be precise.

On that horrible day, February 24, our life was changed forever. As for Stepan, it happened around noon of the same day when he saw planes and black helicopters flying, as it seemed, right at our house. They were on their way to bomb Hostomel while in our home in Bucha, as in some infernal theatre, we were watching this horrifying “play”: a swarm of helicopters over Hostomel which is pretty close, machine gun bursts could be seen and heard, explosions, fire, downed helicopters falling to the ground and exploding. Seeing all of this, your consciousness refuses to accept it as real, happening here and now, in the nice and quiet Bucha, in the middle of Europe.