To help reduce the congestion and backlog as well as the embarrassing sight of asylum seekers sleeping on the street while daring the bad weather conditions, the African Centre for Refugees in Ontario, Canada, has earmarked a long-term solution to the housing crisis by proposing to establish the first of its kind, one-stop “African Centre for Refugees”. The center shall consist of over 300 bed spaces with a community center, a green garden rooftop for urban agriculture, and offices for settlement services, among others.
The proposed shelter shall assist by housing homeless refugees and asylum seekers, including youth, LGBTQ+ individuals, and women. Meals and basic necessities are provided in a secure environment, as are case management, counseling, and support programs for adult refugees and asylum seekers. Housing workers shall assist clients in pursuing permanent housing opportunities.
To help secure settlement services closer and in real-time for supporting asylum seekers, we shall partner with the established refugee serving agency Street Haven to provide mental health services, housing, Education, and Immigration settlement services.
The Centre shall abide by the City of Toronto’s shelter standards according to the rules and rights provided for operating shelters.
The Proposal seeks to Create a specialized Newcomer Refugee Shelter that serves adult African refugees and newcomers;
- City-aligned shelter for African adult refugees and newcomers with 100 beds in downtown east Toronto.
- Operate kitchen services to provide hot meals.
- Housing support to enable timely access to affordable housing and housing benefits.
- Mental health and addiction programming supports.
- Access to healthcare services through community partnerships.
- Settlement programming services to support timely documentation and status acquisition that responds to the needs of African newcomers.
- Life skills training (basic literacy, financial literacy, etc.,) and career support.