A Home for the Holidays
While many of us are looking forward to going home for the holidays, it’s not an option for refugee claimants forced to flee their countries and homes. Sojourn House is proud to provide a welcoming place to stay to those who come to our door seeking asylum and protection. With your help, we can sustain and grow our services to support more refugees and give them the sense of home and family they need this holiday season.
A donation of any amount is greatly appreciated.
Refugee Emergency Fund
Did you know that a single refugee claimant receives on average only $330 per month for basic needs through Ontario Works? To open a bank account as a newcomer or to sign a lease to a home, clients often require two pieces of ID for verification. The average cost of a government issued ID is around $40, which is a lifeline for clients in need of accessing the Interim Federal Health Program for doctors’ visits, medications, laboratory, diagnostic and ambulance services.
The Emergency Fund at Sojourn House will alleviate extra financial burden on our clients, with decisions made on a case by case basis to assist them with their most critical needs. Whether it is to support their re-application for a work permit while they are awaiting an appeal decision, purchasing necessary winter supplies, to helping them with unplanned emergency expenses while at the shelter, your support will mean that the most critical needs of our clients are not left unattended.
Youth Program Education Support
Sojourn House supports a growing number of Separated Refugee Youth between the ages of 16-24 who fled to Canada alone, without family, networks or friends. These youth are exceptional, they are eager to continue their education despite their difficult past and traumatic separation from family members. Yet they face extraordinary challenges including: getting accustomed to a Canadian school system, purchasing school supplies and affording the cost of transportation to get to school.
With a donation of $50 you can help a youth in need with:
- Purchasing school supplies
- Transportation costs
- Field trip fees
- College and University Application fees
Empowering Women Refugees: Skill Building Series
Female refugee claimants, especially with children have unique challenges that are often not addressed by other service providers, nor may they qualify for services specifically for them pending their status in Canada. In 2016, Sojourn House ran a pilot project specifically for women residing with us in our Transitional Housing Program that was overwhelmingly successful. We are excited to roll out a new series of yearlong workshops and training geared specifically towards women of diverse cultural backgrounds with tools to be independent, and to pursue their goals leading to successful integration into the community.
Training and workshops will include but will not be limited to:
- Computer training (Basic to Intermediate) to assist clients with creating a resume, searching for job opportunities online to helping their children with homework and using social media to stay connected
- Self-Defense Classes
- First Aid certification
- Meditation and Mindfulness
- 2 social events annually to celebrate progress and give clients the opportunity to treat themselves!
Fresh Food Program
Many of the refugees living in our Transitional Housing units are dependent of food banks. Food banks generally do not provide fresh fruits and vegetables essential for the maintenance of good health. A poor diet can lead to a number of mental and physical health problems. Yet for a refugee who has lived through various types of violence and traumatic experiences, a poor diet can further aggravate present physical and mental health problems, making it increasingly difficult for the individual to move beyond their refugee experience and to integrate into a new community.
As part of Fresh Food program we would like to have food vouchers available for newly arrived refugees, who do to poverty lack access to perishable foods including fresh fruits and vegetables.
With a donation of $30 you can provide a refugee with 1 voucher = 1 week worth of fresh fruits and vegetables.