Sponsor a Family
At CrossRoads we are looking at various options to sponsor families who are at risk and from Syria. Currently, CrossRoads, as an organization is in the process of privately sponsoring 2 Syrian families. For these 2 families, the finances will come from the church budget and the care of the families will come from groups within the church. We will share more on that later as we get further into the process.
New to us is the chance to join a Group of 5 or G5 to privately sponsor a family. This is when a minimum of 5 families pool their finances, time, and energy, and together bring in and take care of a family. We already have 2 G5 groups gearing up to start the process. If you are interested in hearing more about how you may be able to support or be a member of a G5, please contact Nicole.
Summary of Information for G5 Groups
To be eligible, each member of the group must be approved and qualify through the Government of Canada.
- Each member must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, be at least 18 years old, live in the same community where the refugee is expected to settle, and agree to give settlement assistance and support for the length of the sponsorship (usually one year).
- The group must provide a settlement plan and prove that it has the money to sponsor a refugee for one year. The amount of money needed will depend on how many refugees you sponsor.
You can find more information about costs in the Guide to the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program.
The Refugee Sponsorship Training Program has created a tool to help you determine your eligibility to participate in the Groups of five program.
An assessment by the Centralized Processing Office in Winnipeg (CPO-W) will be done to determine if the group and the individual group members meet the eligibility criteria.
It is expected that no less than three members of the group make a financial commitment
Who Cannot Sponsor?
When forming your group, be aware that some people are not eligible to participate in a sponsorship. They include:
- Persons convicted of serious criminal acts, if five years have not lapsed since the end of the sentence;
- Persons in default of court-ordered support payments; and
- Removable and incarcerated persons or persons subject to citizenship revocation proceedings.
Sponsoring Group Responsibilities
When signing a Sponsorship Undertaking, a sponsor assumes the following responsibilities with respect to the refugee family:
Reception: Meet the refugee upon arrival at the airport and welcome them in the community; provide orientation to life in Canada.
Lodging: Provide suitable accommodation, basic furniture, and other household essentials.
Care: To Provide food, clothing, local transportation costs and other basic necessities of life.
Settlement assistance and support by helping refugees to complete required forms including health insurance, social insurance, and child tax benefits; to open a bank account; to learn English (e.g.: get into an ESL class); to understand the rights and responsibilities of permanent residents; to find employment; to access resources (e.g.: community support groups, settlement services); to register children in school and guide them in dealings with the school system; to locate a family physician and dentist; and to become independent.
These are the Government required responsibilities. However, as believers of Christ who desire to follow his lead we also recognize more is expected of us as we attend also to the spiritual, social and emotional needs. We will commit to being a light and an example of Christ’s love. We will seek friendship and relationship first and with patience, recognize the healing that may need to happen.
It is important to be aware that privately sponsored refugees can be quite vulnerable and your group will have considerable power over their lives after their arrival. Your group needs to be aware of the potential for abuse of this power. Section K of the Sponsorship Undertaking outlines the Declaration by the Sponsoring Group which all parties must sign.
All individuals signing the undertaking have to also agree to this statement on behalf of the group and the ultimate liability rests with the official sponsoring Group of Five that submits the sponsorship.