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October 13, 2004
Toronto refugees have a new home at Romero House
Today marks the official opening of the fourth Romero House (Toronto Refugee
Community Non-profit Homes and Services), as interns and staff open the doors
to welcome refugees and their families.

"This is an exciting and innovative project, nurtured by a wide group of
supporters," said Mary Jo Leddy, Executive Director, Romero House. "This
refugee settlement represents the significant degree of co-operation and
neighbourliness we experience with this project."

"The Government of Canada recognizes that shelter is the foundation upon which
healthy communities and individual dignity are built," said Sarmite Bulte,
Member of Parliament for Parkdale-High Park on behalf of Joe Fontana, Minister
of Labour and Housing. "This funding has enabled Romero House to expand their
facilities and help refugee claimants who are experiencing homelessness."

"It's a truly great day when we can all come together and welcome another
Romero House facility into the neighbourhood," said Councillor Sylvia Watson,
Ward 14 Parkdale-High Park. "When the federal and provincial governments work
closely with the City of Toronto and all their other partners, housing is the
result. I am also pleased to present a cheque for $1,750 to Romero House as a
community contribution on behalf of Ward 14."

Romero House received $400,000 from the Government of Canada's National
Homelessness Initiative (NHI), administered by the City of Toronto, to renovate
and extend the existing two-storey building and create nine units of housing
for refugee claimants who have experienced homelessness. The City of Toronto,
in partnership with the Government of Ontario, provides ongoing funding through
rent supplements and the Homeless Initiative Fund to assist tenants to keep
their housing.

Romero House offers resettlement services for residents of the four houses and
responds to the needs of other refugees who come seeking various kinds of
assistance. The Romero House community serves as an extended family for many
people who are often at their most vulnerable.

Media contacts:
Mary Jo Leddy, Romero House, 416-763-1303,
Catherine Kay, Government of Canada, 416-954-7302
Peggy Byrne, Toronto Shelter, Housing and Support, 416-392-0051,



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