Canada is known for its humanitarian work resettling refugees. In recent years Canada has supported hundreds of thousands of migrants fleeing conflict and war, including individuals and families from Afghanistan and Ukraine. Media reports this summer have highlighted some of the many difficulties asylum seekers face when they arrive, including an overstretched emergency housing system.
Emergency shelters have seen dramatic increases in asylum seekers requiring their services. Our local Peel Region shelters reported that 46% of those in shelter identified as asylum seekers/refugee claimants as of the end of July. This was an 8% increase from the week prior and means that the shelters have nearly the same number of asylum seekers as those experiencing homelessness in the region. The Region of Peel is working to scale up and open additional hotels to offer emergency housing and meet demand.
Our partners in hotels advise that individuals and families need lawyers, dental clinics, mental health supports, and clothing. Since 2021, CWICE has participated in regional resettlement planning with 40+ organizations across Peel, York and Toronto. Many community partners are working collaboratively to meet the needs of newcomers, including the United Way of Greater Toronto, which has recently launched an emergency fund to support grassroots organizations doing this work. African Resettlement Emergency Fund - United Way Greater Toronto (unitedwaygt.org)
Refugees and asylum seekers continue to arrive at Canada’s borders every day. CWICE stands alongside our many settlement colleagues, ready to support the new arrivals. Need help in your region? We are available for consultation on any settlement, immigration, or border-related issue that child welfare professionals may be managing in Ontario. Learn more about the intersection of child welfare and immigration by registering for our 8-part certificate training series.
Together, we can help make Canada a welcoming and supportive place, where migrants from across the world can find the safety and security they seek.