Help with Housing

Děti ze školy
Refugee camp in Zambia, where our next family used to live

We have received notice that our next newcomer family will make the trip from Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, to Saugeen Shores within 4 to 8 weeks, but no actual date has been set. Because of the way the government process works, housing is an extremely complicated process.

First, we’re not allowed to rent a house more than one month in advance, since many families can be delayed.

Second, we will have 10 days’ notice at most before the family arrives at the Toronto airport, which means we’ll be scrambling to secure housing on time. (We had only three days’ warning before our first newcomer family came in 2015.)

Finally, it’s summer in Saugeen Shores – and we all know what that means for trying to find an affordable rental at the last minute.

What Mennonite Central Committee recommends is trying to find a temporary housing solution, where the family has a place to go and settle for a few weeks while we try to find the best possible permanent location.

So I’m putting this question out to the community: Do you know of any possible temporary housing solutions where a family of six could live for a few weeks? It can be simple and small – a basement apartment, a granny suite, a cottage, etc. It can be in either Port Elgin or Southampton.

(Note: It may not even be used, depending on what luck we have finding a permanent place for them.)

Please let me know if you have any thoughts or offers to make. By September, it will be much easier to find somewhere for them to live. You can call (519) 832-4525 or send an email: saugeen.refugeefund[at] You can also reach me (Katherine) on Facebook.

Once we know what the housing situation is, and whether or not the family will have a furnished rental, we will notify the community about the need for furniture and other household donations. We WILL need clothing for the family.

Thank you!

Katherine Martinko, communications coordinator for SSRF