St. Thomas’s Refugee Initiative

In the last two months, the newcomer we are sponsoring has been very involved in intensive ESL and integrating himself into the life of Toronto. With the help of members of our Committee and its friends, he has joined the downtown YMCA and has been able to access healthcare and other services and he has helped us here at St Thomas's by volunteering with our Friday Food Ministry. Once his English has improved, we will be starting the process of helping our newcomer look for employment. Housed initially in a University of Toronto residence -- the result of extremely generous assistance from the University, for which we are very grateful -- our newcomer is moving into new housing. Fortunately, we are able to provide housewares from last spring's shower to help with his new home.

We also remain in line to sponsor a refugee family. The timing of that is still unclear, but the expectation is that we will not have an opportunity to accept a sponsorship offer until well into 2017. In the interim, the Committee will be organizing another fundraising event to help support a newcomer family.