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A local group of faith communities and social service agencies have partnered together to launch the Spirit of Service Sponsorship Program. This is an innovative and unique program designed to assist those living unsheltered in Oshawa. We have seen a desperate need for this type of program since the global COVID-19 pandemic began. The Spirit of Service Sponsorship Program facilitates an agreement between Oshawa faith communities and individuals experiencing homelessness during their transition to stable housing. The pilot has been modelled after the highly successful refugee sponsorship model.
A diverse group of volunteer sponsors have participated in education over the summer months in 2020 and have formed multi-faith teams to sponsor and support individuals. The pilot project has 18 volunteer sponsors to support up to 3 unsheltered individuals. Our identified volunteer sponsors will “walk with an individual or family” through an individualized support model, to help move people who are without housing to stable housing and other opportunities for their healthy integration into the life of the community. This model of service is unique and will provide long term social connections for individuals as they enter this agreement for support for a period of 18-24 months.
Funds raised will go towards providing individuals with targeted financial, services/programs, social and emotional supports as they transition into stable housing opportunities and address other personal concerns. This will allow them to integrate into the economic and social life of the community.
The Spirit of Service Sponsorship Program is overseen through a Steering Committee made up of representatives of faith leaders, social service agencies, post-secondary institutions, business community and local government. Carea Community Health Centre is the anchoring organization to the community collaborative by managing referrals to the program, dispersing funds and supporting the sponsor teams.
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Everyone deserves a second chance. Help us support those that are ready to take that step and make the commitment to building a better future for themselves.