Refugee welcome program plans Thunder Bay expansion

A program that helps government-sponsored refugee families settle in Canada is looking for some Thunder Bay volunteers.

Together Project needs volunteers

The Together Project matches government-sponsored refugees with Canadian volunteers. The project is expanding to Thunder Bay, and local volunteers are being recruited. (togetherproject.ca)

A program that helps government-sponsored refugee families settle in Canada is looking for some Thunder Bay volunteers.

The Together Project — which launched in Toronto about nine months ago — is expanding into northwestern Ontario, and hopes to have volunteers working with refugee families in Thunder Bay by the spring, director Anna Hill said.

"We feel like it's very important to test our model in cities across the province, which may have very different characteristics," Hill said. "Some of the challenges that refugee newcomers face in Thunder Bay may be quite different than the challenges that they face, say, in downtown Toronto."

The Together Project has partnered with the Thunder Bay Multicultural Association, Hill said, and the two groups are working together to find and train volunteers in the Lakehead.

Volunteers aren't financially responsible for the refugee families they work with, and would help them navigate everything from health care and employment to education and culture.

Volunteers are currently being recruited in Thunder Bay, Hill said. More information can be found at the Together Project's website.