Information for Private Sponsors of Refugees_March 30, 2016

March 30, 2016 @ Our Lady of Peace Church

Information for Private Sponsors of Refugees in West Toronto

In collaboration with the Toronto Newcomer office, the Toronto West LIP successfully hosted the second Information for Private Sponsors of Refugees event on March 30th 2016. The event was led by the TWLIP Service Coordination Action Group and brought together 19 service providers and 70 attendees that are either in the process of sponsoring or thinking about sponsoring Syrian Refugees. The event was an opportunity for private sponsors to learn more about Syrian culture, and about services and programs available in Toronto West that can support their sponsorship efforts once the newcomer families arrive in Toronto.

The event began with a warm welcome from Member of Parliament for Etobicoke Center, Borys Wrzenewskyj, followed by a brief presentation on the City of Toronto’s Refugee Resettlement Program by Vera Dodic, the Program Manager of the Toronto Newcomer Office. Zena Al Hamdan, Programs Manager with the Arab Community Centre of Toronto gave a presentation on the various elements of Syrian culture, with some useful tips on how to best accommodate and manage expectations once the newcomer families arrive. Sponsors had the opportunity to ask questions about cultural context and the sponsorship process. Nadjib Alamyar, Settlement Counsellor from WoodGreen Community Services gave a presentation on the H.O.M.E (Housing Opportunities and Marketplace Exchange) registry, an online portal connecting refugees with housing and resources. The remainder of the event was an information fair where private sponsors and service providers were able to network, and ask questions.

Based on the feedback from the evaluation survey results, the event was a success in connecting private sponsors in Etobicoke with service providers. Private sponsors also found that both the presentations, and service providers in attendance to be extremely relevant and useful with informing them on the settlement process. The TWLIP’s Info Event was one of many happening around the city for private sponsors – for updated information on these events; please visit the City of Toronto’s Refugee Resettlement Program.


  • A list of organizations who attended the event is available here
  • Zena’s presentation on Syrian culture is available here
  • Nadjib’s presentation on the H.O.M.E registry is available here
  • Resources for temporary, and permanent housing is available here
  • A listing of services and programs that organizations in West Toronto can provide to Newcomers and Refugees is available here.