It’s about being there during their first months of settlement.

Refugee claimants’ first days in BC are hard.

Arriving with little or no resources, they are at grave risk of homelessness. It is left to the non-profit and charitable sector to address their housing and settlement needs.

Drawing upon our years of experience and through your support, we reach out to these resilient families.

Ana and Nicolás’ Journey

Back home, with danger escalating, Ana and Nicolás feared their son would be kidnapped. With danger escalating, they left the warmth of family and the success of their business, pouring all of their resources into fleeing persecution. They arrived in Canada with their young child mid-winter with $100 to their name and no winter clothing. They did not speak English.

On their own, they hit barrier after barrier. No access to medical care, no money for food or housing—they were in desperate need of assistance. They bounced from motels to shelters, and worked with lawyers that did not act in their best interest. The family’s experience in Canada before meeting Journey Home Community was disheartening. Their story is one of strength, as their drive to persevere is astounding.

In the short time that they have been part of Journey Home Community, their basic needs have been met and they have finally been able to take a deep breath and prepare for the case that will ultimately determine the course of their lives. Thanks to your support, they have gained resources and formed valuable friendships in community. Much of their stress has been lifted.

Yet the future is still unclear for this family and many like them. You can help them build stable lives.


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Two ways you can support refugee claimants

Welcome Houses

Through our Welcome Houses, families have a place “to land” which is furnished and ready. Journey Home staff and select volunteers assist families as they begin to settle into Canada. During their 3-4 month stay, we work with them in locating more permanent housing. Through living together with core hosts and other new arrivals, attending community meals, and as we support them in their journey, we become like family. The relationships formed sometimes last for years.

Find out how you can support families in our Welcome Houses.


Communities of Welcome

Communities of Welcome for Refugee Claimants was launched 3 years ago as a pilot program to increase the number of refugee claimant families we can support. Through this initiative we train and equip community groups who then assist refugee claimant families for 12 to 18 months. They help families secure transitional, then permanent housing while receiving settlement support. By connecting with refugee claimant families shortly after their arrival, families are kept from experiencing homelessness while they are diverted away from a shelter system not equipped to meet their needs.

Find out how you or your group can welcome refugee claimants.