Refugees come to Canada in three different ways. About 7,000 refugees per year are sponsored by the government. Another 3,000 per year are sponsored by private groups, such as churches. Historically the largest group, which up until recently numbered more than 20,000 per year, come to Canada with no sponsors and ask for asylum upon arrival. They are called refugee claimants.
There is no system in place to welcome or assist refugee claimants. They are simply numbered among the homeless, often without resources. Many are forced to look for help in inappropriate city shelters not equipped to meet their needs. Government policies are becoming harsher and there is no structure in place to directly look after their well-being. Despite having reached a safe country, they are at risk of being victimized and traumatized again. Matthew House serves this group of vulnerable refugee claimants.
Learn more at the Canadian Council for Refugees website.
How We Help
Acting on God’s call to welcome the stranger, we warmly receive and assist refugee claimants from all nations regardless of their race, religion, sexual orientation or political opinion. We strive to make Matthew House a place where God’s love is felt and communicated within an atmosphere of welcome and peace.
Since opening in 1998, we have welcomed over 1,200 refugee claimants from 87 different nations. Caring staff and volunteers foster an environment where weary refugees find safety and rest, receive support in meeting practical needs and making connections in their new country. Our services include: help with refugee claim applications, orientation to living in Canada, finding and furnishing apartments and referrals to counseling and other support services as needed.