Refugee Support- FACES

The three churches on First Avenue near Bank Street and a community group have joined forces to sponsor refugees. Our name is FACES which stands for First Avenue Churches and Community Embracing Sponsorships. The churches are St. Matthew’s Anglican, Glebe St. James United, and St. Giles Presbyterian. Our team consists of volunteers from the churches and the community at large. All are welcome to get involved.

Here at St. Matthew’s, the initiative was prompted by parish study sessions seeking more of a social justice commitment in our outreach ministry. In addition to feeding the hungry and supporting shelters, we want to make meaningful long-term changes in the lives of those we touch.

FACES believes we should work together to “make justice” by assisting refugees to come to Canada and supporting their transition to a new life here. FACES seeks to be inclusive and open in refugee sponsorship regardless of faith, ethnicity, health condition or sexual orientation.

A typical sponsorship is 12 months but FACES involvement usually extends beyond the first year of financial assistance. Newcomers at first stay with a welcome family and start the process of being documented as landed immigrants and to register for support services and benefits in Canada. Another team finds appropriate housing for the family, gathering furniture, and the clothing and staples the family will need. Other members of the team offer language training, help the children to get settled in school, and to get involved in sports, if they wish. Meanwhile, we also support the parents/adult newcomers to prepare for employment. Social events are organized.

Now, more than three years since we started, we can report that

  • Over $265,000 has been raised to fund the program;
  • More than 75 newcomers have been supported;
  • Three more sponsorships are expected to begin in 2019; and
  • The world refugee crisis is as urgent as it was when we started.

How You Can Get Involved?

Donate - We are always in need of funding and welcome donations of any size.   They should be designated as “Refugee Support”.

Volunteer – It takes a large team to sponsor a family and there are many different activities to make use of all abilities and skills. But it mostly takes just a kind heart to start. If you want to help, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Tom Martin at 613-715- 3378, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Connect with us

217 First Avenue Ottawa,
ON K1S 2G5
Office: 613-234-4024

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Accessible parking and building access

Support Us

Visit St. Matthew's CanadaHelps profile to make a donation

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