Welcome Project began as a response to the Canadian government's commitment to bring over 25,000 Syrian refugees. We matched members of existing Private Sponsoring Groups with Government-Assisted refugees for settlement help and for friendship.
Connecting families with support networks provides them assistance with housing, job searches, schools and gives them a welcoming community to help them navigate daily life.
The hotels are now empty, and thanks to Welcome Project participants, 50 families were matched with 50 groups. We worked alongside Muslim Association of Canada and Islamic Institute of Toronto to make sure every family was matched.
PLEASE NOTE THAT WE ARE NOT FACILITATING ANY MORE MATCHES AT THIS TIME
How Does it work?
You need 4-5 people. We are prioritizing members from existing private sponsoring groups. Each team will be matched with a single family of Government Assisted Refugees needing settlement help. All members of the team must undergo a brief Settlement Training session and obtain a current police check.
What is involved?
Your team will connect the family with all the resources available to help them settle, most importantly the local settlement agency. Their most pressing needs are finding housing, enrolling in school and health care. You will be the newcomers’ advocate and to make sure nothing falls through the cracks.
What if we all have full-time jobs?
We advise that at least two or three people in your group have flexible daytime hours.
What is the time commitment?
The initial 2 weeks are the most time-intensive. You may need to help with the housing search and drive during the day to view rental units. You will make sure they have everything they need on their first day in their new place, like bedding, food and household items, and orient them to their new surroundings. The time commitment is 2-3 months.
Is there a financial component?
There is no financial component. The newcomers receive funding from the government, as well as furniture and mattresses. They also receive training on housing searches and start-up money for first and last month’s rent. The amounts are equivalent to social-assistance.