42 organizations across Peel, Toronto and York have received grants as part of the African Resettlement Emergency Fund announced on August 9.
September 13, 2023 (Toronto, ON) – With a complex and growing human tragedy unfolding across the Greater Toronto Area, United Way Greater Toronto identified the need to get resources into the hands of community leaders proving supports and programming as quickly as possible.
Today at the Victoria Park Community Hub, United Way Greater Toronto announced over $415,000 in disbursements of the African Resettlement Emergency Fund to 42 organizations, ensuring programs and services benefiting refugee claimants have necessary resources to meet rising urgent needs and begin the steps for sustainable resettlement. The announcement took place alongside the hub’s Wellness Wednesday — a program formed in response to the growing refugee crisis that provides a variety of day programming and wrap around supports to refugee claimant African women.
The 42 organizations – many of them Black-led, -focused and -serving – were quick to rally around refugees and asylum seekers this summer. These grants will help stabilize a community sector already taking action to support the region’s newcomers with programs including Wellness Wednesday, a weekly drop-in program supported and run by – Sesheme Foundation, Working Women Community Centre, Eva’s and CAFCAN – to help recently arrive African women map out a path forward to self-sufficiency. Every Wednesday, the program offers decompression and quiet space, healthy meals, volunteer services, safe food handling training, wellness workshops, community tours, health walks, onsite laundry, and much more.
United Way Greater Toronto fund supports a wide range of programming including access to culturally appropriate food, housing access, and health-based support. Other grant recipients include the Peel Multicultural Council and their program to improve refugee wellbeing, The Dixie Bloor Neighbourhood Drop-in Centre providing “Hotels, Housing and Hope”, the Kenyan Canadian Association’s Emergency Food Support for Asylum Seekers from East Africa and ANCHOR Canada’s refugee Assistance Program which has been working with refugee claimants in York Region.
United Way Greater Toronto announced the establishment of the African Resettlement Emergency Fund on August 9, with an initial contribution of $250,000, to support these efforts and to galvanize the philanthropic community into quick action. In the month following the fund’s launch, The WES Mariam Assefa Fund made a remarkable $100,000 contribution, providing much-needed additional support and demonstrating leadership in addressing the crisis.
Daniele Zanotti, President and CEO of United Way Greater Toronto
We are seeing a complex and growing human tragedy across Peel, Toronto and York Region. The African Resettlement Emergency Fund is United Way Greater Toronto rising to meet a moment of need. Since announcing the fund last month we’ve moved quickly to ensure resources were directed to a strong, coordinated community network working to deliver support and programming. If the GTA is going to be a welcoming place for all, we know that this will be only the first step to stabilize what is becoming a significant regional issue.
Marina Nuri, Director of Canada Programs and Strategy, WES Mariam Assefa Fund
United Way Greater Toronto is responding to a major crisis unfolding in Toronto and the GTA, ensuring that asylum seekers can access essential services, opportunities, and resources. The WES Mariam Assefa Fund is proud to support the African Resettlement Fund as it aligns with our goals of ensuring immigrants and refugees can access equitable opportunity, and that we can shift power and funding to organizations that are led by people from immigrant and Black communities themselves.
Annik Pierre, Sesheme Foundation
Sesheme Foundation is honoured to support our African sisters seeking a safe new start here in Toronto. The housing crisis they are currently navigating is a setback, but these ladies are determined not to be held back. Through Wellness Wednesdays they are not just refugees and asylum seekers, they are daughters, friends, sisters, and mothers skilled in many ways. Here we can speak openly about what’s next, celebrate their womanhood and share the resources needed to start life a fresh. We are grateful to the partners who have jumped in to support over the last 4 weeks and we are deeply appreciative of the United Way’s Support to continue supporting our sisters over the next 12 weeks.
Vanda Henriques, Senior Programs Manager Working Women Community Centre
We are very grateful for the support and leadership of Aramark Canada which has donated food and supplies for Wellness Wednesdays and rallied many of their vendors to also join with them in bringing assistance to the women we are assisting such as Bento Sushi who is providing lunch today.
|Agency Name (legal name)||Project/Initiative Name|
|Bethel Outreach community Services||Culturally Appropriate African Food|
|Peel Multicultural Council||Assisting African Refugee Claimants and Asylum Seeker|
|TAIBU Community Health Centre||Welcoming Embrace|
|Shelley Cares Foundation||SCF – African Resettlement|
|ANCHOR Canada||ANCHOR Refugee Assistance Program (ARAP)|
|Christie Ossington Neighbourhood Centre||Food Sustainability for African Refugees|
|Christie Refugee Welcome Centre Inc.||Providing Basic Needs Items to Refugee Claimant Families|
|La Passerelle – Integration et Development Economique||soutien aux refugiés africains|
|Sistering-A Woman’s Place||Sistering – Welcome|
|Ethiopian association in the GTA and surrounding regions||Refugee Claimants Crisis Response Project in the Greater Toronto Area|
|Centre for Black development options- Canada||Project give back|
|Access Alliance Multicultural Health and Community Services||Among Friends|
|African Community Services of Peel||Emergency Support for African Refugees Initiative|
|New Circles Community Services||New Circles: Empowering and Supporting African Resettlement|
|Miracle Arena For All Nations||Shelter, Clothe, Feed (SCF Program)|
|The Salvation Army Family Life Resource Centre||Basic Needs for African Refugees|
|African In Partnership Against AIDS||African, Caribbean and Black (ACB) Newcomer Engagement|
|Ghanaian-Canadian Association of Ontario||African Refugee Resettlement in Ontario|
|Abode Community Service Centre||Improve African Refugee Wellbeing|
|Polycultural Immigrant and Community Services||African Refugees Emergency Project|
|Toronto People with AIDS Foundation||HIV Positive African Refugees Resettlement Project.|
|The Dixie Bloor Neighbourhood Drop In Centre||Hotels, Housing & Hope|
|Agincourt Community Services Association (ASCA)||Refugee Resettlement Rapid Response Program|
|African Canadian Social Development Council||African Transcontinental Refugee Emergency Coping Strategies|
|Christian Centre Church||African Refuge Care Program|
|Mississauga Seventh-Day Adventist Church||Tender Mercies|
|Malton Neighbourhood Services||The African Settlement Program|
|Kenyan Canadian Association||Emergency Food Support for Asylum Seekers from East Africa|
|Caribbean African Canadian Social Services||Our People’s Keeper, Too|
|Moyo Health and Community Services||Support and Care|
|Sesheme Foundation||Wellness Wednesdays for African Women for Newcomer Women|
|COSTI Immigrant Services||CARE|
|Centre francophone du Grand Toronto||Supports to African refugee claimants and asylum seekers|
|Street Haven at the Crossroads||Women Supporting Women|
|Pilgrim’s Feast Tabernacle||Margaret’s Community Housing and Support Services|
|African Centre for Refugees||Rwandan Canadian Healing Centre|
|FCJ Refugee Centre||Dominion Church International|
|Black Creek Community Health Centre||Revival Tabernacle – The Beautiful Foundation|
Director of Communications, United Way Greater Toronto
About United Way: As the largest non-government funder of community services in the GTA, United Way Greater Toronto reinforces a crucial community safety net to support people living in poverty. United Way’s network of agencies and initiatives in neighbourhoods across Peel, Toronto and York Region works to ensure that everyone has access to the programs and services they need to thrive. Mobilizing community support, United Way’s work is rooted in ground-breaking research, strategic leadership, local advocacy and cross-sectoral partnerships committed to building a more equitable region and lasting solutions to the GTA’s greatest challenges.