Saint Thomas’s Refugee Initiative

Since July 14th, we have been supporting a newcomer as he settles into life in Toronto. Originally from Iran, he came to Canada from Turkey.  He has made terrific progress: he has found himself permanent employment and developed a long-term career plan, formed new friendships and has just recently moved into his own apartment.  Wonderful accomplishments for someone who has been in Canada for less than a year and has just celebrated his 30th birthday!  Support for the newcomer has come from people within the Parish and friends of the Parish, from the University of Toronto, from an extraordinary volunteer translator, and in particular from devoted neighbours  (members of the Huron-Sussex Residents Organization) without whom this effort wouldn't have been possible.

We are also very excited to announce that we have agreed to a second sponsorship: a family from Eritrea. Like so many others, these prospective newcomers fled shortly after independence from Ethiopia, going to Sudan in order to escape Eritrea and what has been described by Human Rights Watch as one of the most oppressive governments in the world. The family is expected to arrive in June. A fundraising event is being considered for the fall to raise the additional funds needed for this second sponsorship.

If you have any questions or would like to assist with this project through a donation, please contact Andrew Gray at