June 20 is World Refugee Day.
LGBTQ+ refugees and asylum seekers continue to be one of the most vulnerable communities. In their search for a safer haven in Canada, they often find themselves up against barriers to essential supports including housing, food, health care, mental health, and employment. BIPOC newcomers and refugees particularly experience systemic discrimination and racism. The 519 is committed to reducing these barriers to essential supports.
Refugees make up a large part of the communities we serve. Through our New to Canada programming, we are responding to their urgent and emerging needs as well as to their settlement. In 2021, 530 refugee claimants received one-on-one settlement supports, and 1,043 people participated in our New to Canada programs
The intersection of Pride and World Refugee Day is an opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of LGBTQ+ refugees – to elevate their voices, support their settlement journeys, and support The 519’s New to Canada programs that directly benefit them.
We asked our LGBTQ+ refugee community what affirms them and invited them to provide calls to action to allies to advocate on their behalf. This is what they shared: