A program organized by COSTI.
Photo above - COSTI Settlement Worker, Olga Petriv, (left) with Nataliya Shparhala and children, Victoria, Anastasia and Victor.
Established in 1952, COSTI is a community-based multicultural agency, providing employment, educational, settlement and social services to all immigrant communities and individuals in need of assistance. COSTI annually serves a total of 39,000 individuals from a very diverse population, ensuring that individuals from every corner of the world are provided with equal access to our services. Operating from 18 locations in Toronto, the Region of Peel and York Region.
COSTI and the government of Canada have a long history of working together to support refugees from around the world. The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 created one of the largest humanitarian crises in the world, and both the federal government and COSTI have been working together to support the many displaced, fleeing Ukrainians.
The federal government established the Canada Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) visa as a special measure. It allows Ukrainians and their family members the ability to travel to Canada and receive extended temporary status, which allows them to work, study and stay in Canada.
Understanding the difficulty and complications with finding affordable housing, COSTI established a Housing Host Program in April 2022. This Program is being supported by IRCC, the Province of Ontario and United Way Greater Toronto. The purpose of the Program is to identify host families in the GTA that have interest in helping and match them with newcomer Ukrainians to offer them free temporary housing. The available space in a home can be an empty bedroom, the basement, or a basement apartment. The duration of the hosting period is based on the availability of the room, ranging from 1 month to 12 months.
The program has made a significant difference in the lives of over 100 families; providing them with a sense of safety and stability while they navigate the difficult first few months of settling in their new country.
Would be interested in finding out more about COSTI’s Ukrainian Host Program? Please contact Tanaz Pardiwala at [email protected] to ask more.
Click HERE to listen to a podcast with Tanaz Pardiwala, manager of COSTI's Ukrainian Host Program and Jen van Ierssel, a host of a Ukrainian family.