As many of you know, the DJC community has shown an incredible amount of support — both financial and in-kind — for the resettlement of a Syrian refugee family who we are privately sponsoring. The Jewish Immigrant Aid Service (JIAS), our Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH), has advised us that they have recently submitted the family sponsorship application to the federal government. Although timing is far from certain, JIAS estimates it will be five to six months before the family is screened and arrives in Canada.
Opportunity to help now with GARs in the GTA
For those who would like to lend a hand in the interim, there are many opportunities to help improve the lives of government assisted refugees (GAR) today with settlement support. The Welcome Project which is affiliated with COSTI, the official GAR resettlement agency in Toronto, is reaching out to private sponsor groups like ours for help.
Many of these families are staying in hotels and need help finding long-term housing, getting acquainted with the city, and accessing programs, services and documentation. We are seeking a team of three to five volunteers to support a family, one of whom will be the lead coordinator for the group. The commitment is up to two months long and the Welcome Project has provided a Step-by-Step Guide to the process, attached. You can also check their website for more information.
This is a tremendous opportunity for anyone who wants to make a difference on the ground, in the lives of your newest neighbours. The Welcome Project will walk you through the steps.
After this was posted, seven people came forward from our DJC community to help form a Welcome Project team to support government assisted refugees in the GTA. If you are interested in this initiative, contact Randi Shulman. Randi is the leader of this newly formed group.