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Matthew House is a community of 3 homes in central
Toronto that welcomes and assists newly arrived
refugee claimants offering HOPE at the end of their
long journey on the refugee highway.





According to the United Nation’s definition, a refugee is defined as “a person outside his or her country of origin who has a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion.”


The United Nations High Commission for Refugees puts the current number of refugees and forcibly displaced people around the world at 51.2 million. No one becomes a refugee by choice—they are forced to flee to save their lives or preserve their freedom. They begin a long journey of danger and uncertainty on the refugee highway, seeking safety and security.

Learn more about the following International Organizations:
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
United Nations
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
International Organization for Migration





JC was a successful engineer in his home country of Colombia. He and his wife had a large, beautiful home and sent their three sons to private schools. Then, without warning, he was targeted by drug lords. Threats were made on his life. One day, coming home from work, he was shot at. He escaped the bullets but knew that it was not safe. He and his family could not trust the police to grant them protection, as they too had connections to the groups that were targeting them. Fleeing for their lives, their travels eventually brought them to Canada where he asked for asylum as a refugee and eventually found himself at Matthew House.

The government in NR’s country of Sierra Leone was very unstable and corrupt. She was a university student and demonstrated for justice. While at school, she and other students were targeted by government forces and she was taken to a prison where she was sexually assaulted by members of the army. She ultimately escaped to be sure of her safety and fled to another city, eventually making her way to Canada, asking for protection here as a refugee. She did not know anyone nor where to stay upon arrival. Someone directed her to Matthew House.

LR was a leader in his home country of Afghanistan. He openly expressed his views in favour of democracy and human rights. Rebel factions who opposed his ideas targeted him and his family. His house was hit by a bomb and two of his young children were killed. He knew he had to flee to stay alive. Sending his wife and surviving children into hiding, he fled the country. Eventually he managed to reach the shores of Canada where he asked for asylum as a refugee. He did not know anyone, nor where to stay but found a warm welcome at a place called Matthew House.


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.








"I was a stranger and you welcomed me..." Matthew 25:35

©Matthew House Toronto 2012  | P: 416.364.8287 | 981 Dundas Street  Toronto ON M6J 1W4 | Twitter | Facebook | Created by GenesisXD