Richmond realtors Vern Jurovich, Andrew Leong, Steven Thom, and their office, helped raise $350,000 for refugees fleeing violence and threats find new lives in Metro Vancouver.
Along with the help of their colleagues at Macdonald Realty Westmar, they worked with Journey Home Community, a charity that, for 15 years, has provided shelter and support for refugee families as they work through the refugee status process.
This was the third year Macdonald Realty Westmar was the main sponsor for the annual Ride for Refuge fundraiser and has also donated a much-needed car.
“I first learned about Journey Home when one of my Realtors asked for help supporting a new refugee,” said Leong.
“They need to find homes and I work in the business, so it’s a natural fit and a worthy cause for us to give back to the community.”
In Canada, there are two general types of refugees: those sponsored by the federal government or private groups and arrive here with permanent residence status, and those who have to immediately leave their country of origin due to persecution and threats to their lives.
These refugees don’t have time to follow the normal immigration channel, and often arrive without any belongings or documentation.
Unlike sponsored refugees, there’s no official infrastructure to provide basic housing or guidance through the refugee claimant system. This is where Journey Home Community and similar organisations step in.