"It broke my heart to see refugees were not being welcomed and I longed to do something about it."
— Anne Woolger, Founder & Executive Director
Who We Are
Matthew House is a nationally recognized leader in welcoming, assisting and resettling newly arrived refugee claimants. With a community of four homes in central Toronto, Matthew House was established in response to the enormous need for decent and appropriate shelters. With no formal system in place to assist them, many refugee claimants spend their first days in Canada on the street or in ill-equipped homeless shelters. Despite having reached a safe country, they are at risk of being victimized and re-traumatized.
Since opening in 1998, Matthew House has assisted over 1,500 refugee claimants from 100 nations. We welcome all refugees regardless of their race, religion, sexual orientation or political opinion. We strive to make Matthew House a place where the dignity and hope of refugees are restored.
At Matthew House, staff and volunteers foster a supportive community dedicated to meeting all their holistic needs. In addition to our main reception house, we have two transition homes where particularly vulnerable residents such as unaccompanied teens or single mothers may stay and receive longer-term support.
Our services include safe shelter, expert settlement and orientation support, assistance with their refugee claim process and finding and furnishing apartments. We also offer the ground-breaking Refugee Hearing Program unique to Matthew House. In addition, we are the only organization in Canada providing dedicated long-term housing and support to refugee youth.
Matthew House also advocates for justice and educates the public about the plight of refugees. We have been a catalyst for the opening of half a dozen other refugee shelters across Canada.
Our Mission and Vision
Mission: To inspire hope, restore dignity, and empower independence for refugee claimants.
Vision: A world in which every refugee has a place to call home.
Our Core Values