LGBTQ+ Refugee Programs

What We Do

Refugee Claimants Program: We offer refugee claimants weekly orientation and registration sessions, weekly information sessions, workshops and small group discussions, one-on-one support and referrals, monthly spiritual and emotional support meetings and a community to call home.

Private Sponsorship and Resettlement Program: In partnership with sponsoring groups (Constituent Groups or Settlement Teams) we help individuals who suffered persecution abroad based on their gender identity/ expression and/or sexual orientation to resettle in Canada.

Advocacy and Education: In partnership with other Canadian organizations we advocate at all levels of government for the advancement of refugee rights, and in particular the rights of LGBTQ+ refugees and protected persons. We also participate in training programs, workshops, webinars and speaking engagements to share our knowledge and expertise.

MCC Toronto is the only LGBTQ+ exclusive Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH) for refugees in all of Canada. Through our work with sponsorship teams, we have privately sponsored over 55 LGBTQ+ refugees to Canada and have provided services and programming to over 3,500 LGBTQ+ refugee claimants since 2007.

We will continue to advocate with our allies and partners for equal and social rights for refugees.

**MCC Toronto covers the overhead costs of the LGBTQ+ Refugee Programs. Private individuals, corporate and foundation can donate directly to support refugee sponsorship and program costs.

Take Action

Become or join a settlement team.

We sponsor refugees through two specific government programs: Rainbow Refugee Assistance Program (Rainbow RAP) and Blended Visa Office Referred Program (BVOR).

At MCC Toronto, we also encourage our community to become community sponsors to government sponsored refugees through the Joint Assistance Sponsorship Program (JAS).

To become a sponsor we recommend:

  • Gathering at least a team of five people to support and share the responsibilities.
  • Fundraise to support an individual ($18,000) or a couple ($35,000) per year.
  • Make a one year commitment to support the sponsored persons (to support and assist in integrating them into Toronto life).

If you would like to learn more about our private sponsorship program and would like to be involved in the beautiful work of bringing an LGBTQ+ refugee to safety, please click here.

Donate

Join our community of supporters as we continue to bring hope and work to improve people’s lives and find safety in Canada.

MCC Toronto’s LGBTQ+ Refugee Programs do not receive any government support and our work would not be possible without the support and generosity of our community. Fill out the form here.

Partnerships

For MCC Toronto’s LGBTQ+ Refugee Programs, collaborating with other organizations and creating unifying partnerships to collectively work towards improving the Canadian refugee system is important to us.

We are members of:

  • The Canadian Rainbow Coalition for Refuge (CRC4R) and hold a place on the coalition’s Steering Committee.
  • The Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR) and our LGBTQ+ Refugee Programs Director, Aleks Dughman-Manzur, holds the Vice-Presidency.
  • The Sponsorship Agreement Holders Association (SAH Association), and sit on their Equity and Inclusion Committee.
  • 2SLGBTQ+ Service Provider Network.
  • LGBTQ+ Settlement Network of Toronto.

Get Help

Getting you to safety is important to us, but for us to assist you, it is crucial for you to educate yourself and know the different options that are available to you.

At MCC Toronto, our LGBTQ+ Refugee Programs is made up of a small team dedicated to exclusively working with the LGBTQ+ community (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and two-spirited people) who are facing persecution based on their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

Please identify your current status below and direct your inquiries to the contacts provided.

  1. If you identify as LGBTQ+ and are currently living in your country of origin we are not able to assist you at this time. Please click here to connect with Rainbow Railroad, a Canadian organization that may be able to assist you.
  2. If you identify as LGBTQ+ and are currently living outside of your country of origin, please click here.
  3. If you do not identify as LGBTQ+, please click here here for a full list of Sponsorship Agreement Holders who may be able to support non-LGBTQ+ sponsorship applications.
  4. If you identify as LGBTQ+ and are a refugee claimant (asylum seeker) making a claim from within Canada, please click here.

Refugee Programs E-Newsletters

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