Wesley receives $250K to subsidize housing for Syrian refugees in Hamilton

News Apr 11, 2016 by Teviah Moro The Hamilton Spectator

Cabin fever would be a mild way to describe it.

Radwan Barambo has lived with five family members in a Hamilton hotel for 45 days since arriving in Canada as a Syrian refugee.

He's frustrated after trying to rent at least 17 places only to have landlords turn him away.

Radwan, 31, says some tell him it's because they're Syrian refugees.

"Many houses, they don't tell me the reason."

His is one of three remaining government-assisted families that are still struggling to find places to live in Hamilton.

So far, close to 900 Syrian refugees have been housed, said Daljit Garry, executive director of Wesley Urban Ministries, the local lead agency on the file.

Just over 100 have signed leases and are waiting to move in.

But it has been more difficult to find suitable housing for larger families with members who have mobility issues, Garry said.

"So that's where we have encountered challenges."

Government and corporate representatives announced a $250,000 boost toward Wesley's efforts on Monday.

The money comes from the Welcome Fund for Syrian Refugees, an envelope supported by corporate sponsors, including CN, which donated $5 million to the cause.

Other supporters include Manulife and GM.

Garry said most of the $250,000 will go toward housing subsidies to help refugees cover rent. She anticipates that will be about $200 for $1,000-a-month dwelling.

"We're looking at working out those details. It's early days."

The federal government has now surpassed its initial goal of settling 25,000 Syrian refugees and landed 26,000 on Canadian soil, said Arif Virani, parliamentary secretary to Immigration Minister John McCallum.

So far, Virani said, about $3 million has been allocated from the Welcome Fund, which is handled by the Community Foundations of Canada.

Housing and employment are key "nuggets" that lead newcomers along the path to success in their land of refuge, the Toronto MP said.

Khuloud Barambo, Radwan's sister, is thankful for the support her family has received in Hamilton.

"People are very kind."

But Khuloud acknowledges that with every day that passes in the downtown hotel, her anxiety and depression become worse.

Radwan says he has looked at 17 places and filled out several applications.

All six family members are adults and well educated: he studied business management while Khuloud has a master's in physics, for example.

Their father has multiple sclerosis and relies on a wheelchair. That means he needs an accessible washroom.

"But now I need anything," Radwan said.

tmoro@thespec.com

905-526-3264 | @TeviahMoro

Wesley receives $250K to subsidize housing for Syrian refugees in Hamilton

News Apr 11, 2016 by Teviah Moro The Hamilton Spectator

Cabin fever would be a mild way to describe it.

Radwan Barambo has lived with five family members in a Hamilton hotel for 45 days since arriving in Canada as a Syrian refugee.

He's frustrated after trying to rent at least 17 places only to have landlords turn him away.

Radwan, 31, says some tell him it's because they're Syrian refugees.

"Many houses, they don't tell me the reason."

His is one of three remaining government-assisted families that are still struggling to find places to live in Hamilton.

So far, close to 900 Syrian refugees have been housed, said Daljit Garry, executive director of Wesley Urban Ministries, the local lead agency on the file.

Just over 100 have signed leases and are waiting to move in.

But it has been more difficult to find suitable housing for larger families with members who have mobility issues, Garry said.

"So that's where we have encountered challenges."

Government and corporate representatives announced a $250,000 boost toward Wesley's efforts on Monday.

The money comes from the Welcome Fund for Syrian Refugees, an envelope supported by corporate sponsors, including CN, which donated $5 million to the cause.

Other supporters include Manulife and GM.

Garry said most of the $250,000 will go toward housing subsidies to help refugees cover rent. She anticipates that will be about $200 for $1,000-a-month dwelling.

"We're looking at working out those details. It's early days."

The federal government has now surpassed its initial goal of settling 25,000 Syrian refugees and landed 26,000 on Canadian soil, said Arif Virani, parliamentary secretary to Immigration Minister John McCallum.

So far, Virani said, about $3 million has been allocated from the Welcome Fund, which is handled by the Community Foundations of Canada.

Housing and employment are key "nuggets" that lead newcomers along the path to success in their land of refuge, the Toronto MP said.

Khuloud Barambo, Radwan's sister, is thankful for the support her family has received in Hamilton.

"People are very kind."

But Khuloud acknowledges that with every day that passes in the downtown hotel, her anxiety and depression become worse.

Radwan says he has looked at 17 places and filled out several applications.

All six family members are adults and well educated: he studied business management while Khuloud has a master's in physics, for example.

Their father has multiple sclerosis and relies on a wheelchair. That means he needs an accessible washroom.

"But now I need anything," Radwan said.

tmoro@thespec.com

905-526-3264 | @TeviahMoro

Wesley receives $250K to subsidize housing for Syrian refugees in Hamilton

News Apr 11, 2016 by Teviah Moro The Hamilton Spectator

Cabin fever would be a mild way to describe it.

Radwan Barambo has lived with five family members in a Hamilton hotel for 45 days since arriving in Canada as a Syrian refugee.

He's frustrated after trying to rent at least 17 places only to have landlords turn him away.

Radwan, 31, says some tell him it's because they're Syrian refugees.

"Many houses, they don't tell me the reason."

His is one of three remaining government-assisted families that are still struggling to find places to live in Hamilton.

So far, close to 900 Syrian refugees have been housed, said Daljit Garry, executive director of Wesley Urban Ministries, the local lead agency on the file.

Just over 100 have signed leases and are waiting to move in.

But it has been more difficult to find suitable housing for larger families with members who have mobility issues, Garry said.

"So that's where we have encountered challenges."

Government and corporate representatives announced a $250,000 boost toward Wesley's efforts on Monday.

The money comes from the Welcome Fund for Syrian Refugees, an envelope supported by corporate sponsors, including CN, which donated $5 million to the cause.

Other supporters include Manulife and GM.

Garry said most of the $250,000 will go toward housing subsidies to help refugees cover rent. She anticipates that will be about $200 for $1,000-a-month dwelling.

"We're looking at working out those details. It's early days."

The federal government has now surpassed its initial goal of settling 25,000 Syrian refugees and landed 26,000 on Canadian soil, said Arif Virani, parliamentary secretary to Immigration Minister John McCallum.

So far, Virani said, about $3 million has been allocated from the Welcome Fund, which is handled by the Community Foundations of Canada.

Housing and employment are key "nuggets" that lead newcomers along the path to success in their land of refuge, the Toronto MP said.

Khuloud Barambo, Radwan's sister, is thankful for the support her family has received in Hamilton.

"People are very kind."

But Khuloud acknowledges that with every day that passes in the downtown hotel, her anxiety and depression become worse.

Radwan says he has looked at 17 places and filled out several applications.

All six family members are adults and well educated: he studied business management while Khuloud has a master's in physics, for example.

Their father has multiple sclerosis and relies on a wheelchair. That means he needs an accessible washroom.

"But now I need anything," Radwan said.

tmoro@thespec.com

905-526-3264 | @TeviahMoro