Dear brothers and sisters of St. Paul diocese and beyond,

May this Christmas season bring us all closer to our Emmanuel, the Lord Jesus Christ who is the hope of the peoples.  May he be the Wisdom that teaches and guides us so that our gestures and gatherings to celebrate his birth, also are signs of his mercy and saving love among us.  May that mercy and love be with us and our families through the Christmas season and in the New Year.
† Bishop Paul Terrio

The Pastoral Center will be closed from Thursday, December 24, 2015 to Sunday, January 3, 2016 inclusively.

Refugee Sponsorship Brochure




Please note that the order of some of the following may change according to your groups’ needs.

    1. Review/discuss the financial requirements (see attached); decide on family size
    2. Review/discuss the work required (see below)
    3. Get parish council approval
    4. Raise necessary funds (depending on family size agreed to)
    5. Paperwork: when you are ready to proceed, the Refugee Sponsorship Coordinator will:
      1. Provide refugee profiles which fit your request
      2. Obtain additional information your group may wish to know about the family
      3. Submit all required documentation according to your decision
    6. Committee requirements:
      1. Between 8 – 10 individuals is ideal (though some have been smaller)
      2. Volunteer ‘qualifications’:
        1. Some with vehicles;
        2. Some with day time availability
        3. All with big hearts
        4. Also helpful are volunteers with experience in an area and can take the lead, e.g., housing, health, education, sports, recreation, etc. (or be consulted)
      3. Time commitment? This varies: preparation and initial arrival are the most intensive; all volunteers are needed to help at that time (see below); after the family has settled in, usually only weekly visits are needed; however, depending on family needs, such as dr. appointments, etc., they might require more time.
    7. Refugee Sponsorship Coordinator will provide:
      1. Orientation to whole committee regarding role/responsibilities of sponsorship (note, this can be provided at any point that you request)
      2. Written handouts with information about registrations, resources and key contacts
      3. Assistance to connect with people from the same country/language group
      4. Workshop on cross cultural awareness (as requested).
  1. 2.NOTICE OF ARRIVAL AND GETTING READY (the notice is usually sent 2-3 weeks in advance of arrival)
    1. a.Secure housing!

Once you’ve received the notice of arrival, you need to narrow down the housing search. This is a key task and often one of the most difficult. Ideally housing will not be too far from the area of your parish for the convenience of your committee; finding an apartment with rent within the budget will be a challenge (see budget guidelines).

  1. Get utilities hooked up.
  2. Finalize procurement of furniture and household effects and set up apartment.

Here’s where St. Vincent de Paul will be VERY helpful!

  1. Arrival planning:
    1. Identify drivers/greeters/interpreters for airport reception
    2. Bring bottles of water; possibly snacks (they have been travelling a long time)
    3. Prepare a meal (culturally appropriate if possible) to leave in the family’s house.
    1. a.The first 2 weeks are the busiest because it is necessary to get registrations and documentation completed as soon as possible, such as, register for Alberta Health Care, Social Insurance, open bank account, other registrations, enrollments, etc. Volunteer(s) with vehicles and day time availability is required (maybe interpreters too).
    2. b.When possible, find volunteers with specific experience/knowledge in areas such as the school system, doctors/clinics; follow up on medical issues, children get inoculations, family is seen by a family doctor, etc.
    3. c.Volunteers (perhaps youth?) with experience/knowledge of the transit system are needed to go with the family showing them how to use public transit from their apartment to school, shopping, etc.   A key part of your role is to help them be independent; showing them how to get around on their own is part of this.


  1. 4.ONGOING – Settling into the community
    1. Following the rush of pre-arrival preparation and post-arrival busyness, ongoing support for the family is much less intense or time consuming. The parents will likely be enrolled in English classes on a daily basis, keeping them busy. Your role shifts to providing ongoing friendship/support and orienting them to the community, such as:
      1. Committee members take turns to invite them for supper on a weekend to visit together, give them a chance to practice English, learn about their skills and background (later refer them to employment).
      2. Take them on outings to see Edmonton: go to a park and have a picnic; take them to a point of interest (the Fringe festival, street performers’ festival, the museum, zoo, etc.).
    2. Usually there are 2 or 3 of the sponsors who spend more time with the family and develop a rapport with them; such a relationship/rapport is important as it helps to build trust. It is important that the family feels comfortable with someone with whom they can share concerns, etc.
    1. Most sponsorships proceed as above but there is never a guarantee what they will be like. Some more challenging sponsorships have had:
      1. One family member required weekly visits to the Cross Cancer for treatments.
      2. One refugee was hospitalized for mental issues and could not live on her own.
      3. A family with greater cultural barriers plus 5 children required more contact and support for a longer time (e.g., medical issues, school contact/follow-up, etc.).


                                                                   REFUGEE SPONSORSHIP

                                                                             Monthly Budget

                                                                  Guidelines for financial support*



F 2

F 3

F 4

F 5

F 6

Food & incidentals





























*Table is based on Canada Immigration Resettlement Assistance Program – May, 2013

Monthly allowance budget does not include initial purchase of food staples, furniture, basic linens and household, winter clothing, school fees and supplies, etc.

Sponsorship support includes the following start up costs and/or items:

  • utility hook-up: $47.00
  • telephone hook-up: $46.00
  • damage deposit, usually equivalent to one month rent and given as a loan
  • food staples: $175/single; $75 each additional family member
  • Basic clothing $325/adult; $250/child
  • Winter clothing allowance $175/adult; $125/child

Special allowances are given for the following:

  • families with children under 6 years: $50.00/month for diapers, formula, etc.
  • maternity - $75.00/month for dietary supplements; one time $200 for clothing, $750 baby allowance
  • School allowance - $150 in August; $20/month/school age child

One year budget for minimum monthly expenses only (not including start-up) are as follows:

  • Single:$9,492.00
  • F214,808.00
  • F317,016.00
  • F417,940.00
  • F518,744.00
  • F619,656.00

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