After experiencing persecution and trauma, refugee families arrive in Metro Vancouver hoping for a safe and secure future. But they face homelessness and isolation.
Being welcomed into one of our Welcome Houses prevents this. Families receive a place “to land” which is furnished and ready for their arrival.
Each house’s volunteer live-in host couple provides welcome and oversight. After a stay of 3-4 months, we work with the family to find more permanent housing. Our experienced settlement team, along with carefully selected, trained and screened volunteers, walk-alongside refugee claimant families, helping achieve the settlement milestones mentioned below.
Marleni’s journey from abuse to safety
Marleni lived in the Peruvian countryside—until a terrorist group seized control of the region.
Her family was scattered throughout Peru. Even today, decades later, Marleni laments how that event ended her childhood. “From that moment on, we never lived together again as a family”.
She ended up marrying an abusive man. “When I tried to get help from my family, my father did not listen to me.” She was told to live with her abuser.
Marleni knew she had to flee. She escaped to the United States, later returning to Peru to pick up her daughter. She re-married a Peruvian.
But the United States does not accept refugee claims based on spousal/physical abuse. They faced deportation, yet returning to Peru was dangerous because of death threats from her ex-husband, who was well-connected.
Fearing for their futures, Marleni and her family pushed through overgrown blackberry bushes to cross the Canadian border, seeking asylum. Without money or a place to stay, they were homeless. Arriving at a Journey Home Welcome house, the resident host met them at the door. “Welcome to your home.” Upon hearing those words, Marleni felt a surge of joy and relief.
Marleni’s family found belonging with the help of Journey Home, and Marleni has become a vital part of our community. In 2018, she joined Journey Home Community Board of Directors.