The refugee crisis around the world has been growing exponentially, and as more refugees and refugee claimants come to Toronto, fleeing from unsafe places around the world, the question is also growing: how do we as the Body of Christ faithfully respond to this need?
In April 2023 the Refugee Committee at Little Trinity wrapped up their most recent sponsorship agreement. In honour of the discernment process that we are going through as a church, the committee agreed that it made sense to put the refugee ministry on hold while we discern what shape our justice efforts will take.
In May 2023, Little Trinity received a request from Adam House to financially assist with work being done on their Gladstone House location, where they house up to 18 refugee claimants. One of the vital ways that refugee claimants are supported in Toronto is by being housed while they await their refugee status to be accepted and approved, at which point they will begin to receive government assistance. Adam House is a non-profit Christian organization in Toronto that provides short-term housing and assistance with the refugee claimant process. They help people make their way in their new country of Canada. Adam House has four houses in the city that receive refugee claimants from around the world, of which Gladstone House is the largest.
In consultation with the Refugee Committee and wardens, we agreed that half of our remaining refugee funds would go to support this work. This decision was made in alignment with the motion passed at Vestry in 2015 regarding these funds:
“Any monies not specifically designated to support Syrian refugees will be utilized to support other refugees in Canada and overseas.”
Given the ongoing and worsening refugee crisis in Toronto, in October the decision was made to donate the second half of the fund to Matthew House. Matthew House, like Adam House, provides short-term homes for refugee claimants who are without supports and awaiting refugee status in Canada. Matthew House has been actively involved in addressing the current crisis, and has recently been given a seventh home to house refugee claimants, if they are able to renovate and furnish it by Christmas. Thanks to a matching grant, the money we are donating to Matthew House will cover those costs!
Little T parishioner Bonnie Moore works for Adam House as the Spiritual Care Co-ordinator for two of their locations. This involves coming alongside people by providing a listening ear as residents walk through the many steps of transition, providing a weekly dinner as a place for good conversations and community and a Bible study for those interested in pursuing a life of faith.
Both Matthew House and Adam House have ongoing needs for both volunteers and funds. In addition, Matthew House provides support and training if you are interested in hosting a refugee claimant in your home on a temporary basis.
Please talk with Bonnie or Karen if you like to know more about the work of Adam House or Matthew House, or if you’d like to know how you could become more involved in actively supporting refugee claimants in Toronto. ( or )