Erie, PA refugee commits suicide

A Ukrainian refugee woman has apparently committed suicide in Erie, PA by walking into the waters of Presque Isle Bay bringing more headaches to the International Institute of Erie which has had a rough year.  The story begins:

The woman who drowned in Presque Isle Bay on Thursday stepped into the water on purpose, according to the Erie County coroner. He said a witness watched it happen.

Coroner Lyell Cook ruled the death a suicide.

He identified the woman as Anna Lisichenko, 47, a Ukrainian immigrant who lived on Bird Drive in Erie. He said she was in the 46-degree water for less than an hour.

According to officials at the International Institute this all came as a shock because they thought she had assimilated well.

“They were very much a success for us,” said Sharon Stasiewski, the acting executive director of the International Institute of Erie. “They had done a real good job of attaining self-sufficiency.”

“If they are having trouble resettling, or are having trouble with depression, it usually comes out during the case management,” Stasiewski said. “In this case, it didn’t.”

Others in the refugee business in Erie admitted there are flaws and some unhappy refugees do fall through the cracks.

The signs are easy to miss, said Paul Jericho, the director of the refugee program for the Hispanic American Council. He works with two members of Lisichenko’s extended family.

“There are some flaws in the system,” Jericho said. “It’s not set up to identify every mental-health issue.”

I didn’t know that something called the Hispanic American Council* was now in the refugee resettlement business.

Check out our previous posts on the beleaguered International Institute of Erie here and here.

*  Just as I thought, had a look at their Form 990 and they are another group providing services to Hispanics and refugees funded primarily by the taxpayer.   Their overall income in 2006 was $1,735,280 and you paid $1,155,021 of that or 67%.