August 9, 2023 (Toronto, ON) – United Way Greater Toronto is announcing $250,000 in grants to support the leadership of Black-led community service organizations working on the frontlines with African refugee claimants and asylum seekers across the Greater Toronto Area.
As part of this funding, United Way Greater Toronto aims to catalyze additional support and public participation essential in creating sustainable solutions for African refugee claimants and asylum seekers. Together, we can match this first step with another $250,000 in the coming weeks providing housing and employment support, food, clothing, community connections and more.
“This is the beginning of a long journey,” said Daniele Zanotti, President, and CEO of United Way Greater Toronto. Recognizing the increasing need for support, Zanotti added, “the commitment of $250,000 is a step forward. We are ready to provide immediate emergency relief and support to those in need. By leveraging United Way’s expertise and network, the funds will be swiftly channeled into the community, empowering Black-led initiatives to make an impact. With additional support from the public, we can expand efforts to provide essential services, including housing and employment support, food, clothing, and community connections for African refugee claimants and asylum seekers”
The African Resettlement Emergency Fund is aligned with United Way Greater Toronto and the City of Toronto’s commitment to combating anti-Black racism. United Way Greater Toronto will ensure these funds and additional support donated through the Emergency Fund will directly assist community organizations helping refugee claimants and asylum seekers, with a special focus on efforts by Black-led and Black-serving community groups.
United Way Greater Toronto has a history of collaborating with local governments in Peel, Toronto, and York to facilitate the settlement of newcomers, refugees, and asylum seekers. In recent years, the organization has been actively involved in supporting refugees from Afghanistan and Ukrainian temporary residents. In addition to directing residents to the African Resettlement Emergency Fund, the City of Toronto is accepting and coordinating offers of housing for refugee claimants and asylum seekers and referring goods and services to community agencies through its DonateTO web portal.
Join us in making a difference in the lives of refugee claimants and asylum seekers. Donate now to the African Resettlement Emergency Fund and be part of a compassionate community that stands together to provide vital support and assistance.
Daniele Zanotti, President and CEO of United Way Greater Toronto
This is the beginning of a long journey, and the commitment of $250,000 is a step forward. We are ready to provide immediate emergency relief and support to those in need. By leveraging United Way’s expertise and network, the funds will be swiftly channeled into the community, empowering Black-led initiatives to make an impact. With additional support from the public, we can expand efforts to provide essential services, including housing and employment support, food, clothing, and community connections for African refugees and asylum seekers.
Mayor Olivia Chow, City of Toronto
I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the United Way of Greater Toronto for providing this vital funding to support African refugee claimants and asylum seekers across our city. We must acknowledge the ongoing leadership and mobilization of Black-led community and faith organizations in Toronto who continue to provide temporary shelter and supports for new arrivals. As the need continues to grow, the City will continue to work with the community to provide the services refugees need. I urge all Torontonians to join us in ensuring our city is a welcoming place for all – and ask that the Federal government bolster these efforts with funding and support.
Debbie Douglas, Executive Director of the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI)
OCASI applauds United Way Greater Toronto’s commitment to supporting African refugee claimants through this pledge of $250,000 and hopes it serves as a starting point for our efforts as a community to address the crisis. This investment in Black-led community service organizations on the frontlines will help meet urgent needs, upholding the dignity and showing respect to our region’s newcomers.
Manager, 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.