A Path to Home: Supporting Housing Needs for Newcomers


The YMCA of Greater Toronto is a charity focused on community support and development. The organization aims is to provide every individual in the community with opportunities for personal growth, community involvement, and leadership. 
The YMCA of Greater Toronto is the lead agency for A Path to Home: Supporting Housing Needs for Newcomers (APTH), which is a national pilot project that employs best practice principles to the resettlement support process of newcomers to Canada. The project is unique in that it views resettlement through a housing lens, prioritizing affordable and appropriate housing as a fundamental building block of the settlement process. The project focus is on three core objectives as part of a housing "continuum of care". These objectives are: Housing Access; Housing Stabilization; and Eviction Prevention.
In September 2012, the YMCA of Greater Toronto secured funding from the Government of Canada through Citizenship and Immigration (CIC) and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) to deliver this 18-month the APTH pilot project. Currently underway, the project is based out of three cities across the country, Fredericton, Edmonton and Toronto. Project delivery partners for each city are local designated community agencies as follows: The Multicultural Association of Fredericton in Eastern Canada; the YMCA of Edmonton in Western Canada; and COSTI Immigrant Services in Toronto.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reports have identified housing as a priority and a concern for refugee integration in the immigrant-serving sector. As such, UNHCR will provide modest financial support to APTH; document project activities, successes and challenges; make recommendations for future program development; and will share the experience of this pilot with other resettlement countries, wherever these Canadian findings are transferable. 
The program focuses on recent immigrants and resettled refugees who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Program participants must fall within CIC's criteria of living in Canada for more than one year and less than three years, but not as Canadian Citizens. Those who face multiple barriers to integration - low literacy and/or education; low English or French speaking skills; limited coping skills; long stays in refugee camps; minimal urban living experience; mental or physical health issues; challenging family dynamics; unemployment; trauma; isolation; single parents; large family size; and disabilities - will be a priority. The project proposes to serve 50 participants (and related families) in a structured delivery model format, tailored to the needs of each community.
For more information, please contact Janet Fairfield.