The Importance of Helping
Fresh Start for Refugees in Kingston was launched in November 2015 by a group of five individual citizens to sponsor privately Syrian refugees. The Anglican Diocese is our Sponsorship Agreement Holder with Ottawa.
Typically, a group of five needs to raise $27,000 at a minimum to cover expenses and start-up costs for a family of four members’ first year in Canada, and assist with their initial settlement in the community, such as connecting them with support services and helping them find jobs and schools.
Now that we have formed the group of five, the following is a list of what we need to do:
- Raise the total amount of money needed for a full year of settlement support
- Expenses include rent, furniture, food, clothing, transportation, prescriptions, nonemergency dental procedures, etc.
- Provide orientation and help the family budget for monthly expenses
- Register adults for ESL classes and give guidance in finding a job. Settlement agencies such as Immigrant Services of Kingston and Area (ISKA) are able to help with some of these tasks
- Meet the family at the airport and provide temporary housing
- Help the family to find affordable permanent housing
- Help them access OHIP/SIN, banking, and other services. (As soon as they arrive at the airport they become Permanent Residents of Canada – and hence are no longer refugees – so are eligible for OHIP and SIN)
- Provide friendship and emotional support
- Help register children in school
Sponsorship is a one-year commitment to support refugees as they adjust to life in Canada. We will provide or help them access:
- Health care
- Job and language training
- Education for the children