Community Development | Abrigo Centre
This program provides services in three ways. We provide counselling and support to newly arrived, Portuguese speaking immigrants and refugees. These newcomers are primarily from Angola and Brazil. Information and referral, interpretation, liaison to government programs and other community support systems are just a few of the examples of how we assist the new members of our society to establish themselves in this very large and complex city.
The First Steps groups provide newcomers with the opportunity to meet during information sessions and learn together about their rights and obligations as new participants in our communities. These groups provide a much-needed avenue for decreasing isolation and increasing self-esteem. Newly arrived immigrants & refugees have the opportunity to connect with others, form new relationships and develop leadership and informal resources within their communities.
We assist Portuguese-speaking seniors with access to information, government resources and services which they are entitled to. Portuguese speaking immigrants make up the third largest group of non-English speaking people in Ontario. Historically, many Portuguese speaking seniors arrived at a time when ESL literacy classes were not readily available. Today they are in great need of support services to access important necessities such as pensions, housing and day programs.
We provide general community integration services to individuals who do not have the informal family and social supports and need assistance to access such services as disability pensions and employment insurance benefits. Our primary focus with these clients is to provide assessment, teaching of problem solving skills and access to basic needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How early can I apply for my Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Pension?
- You may apply as early as 11 months before your qualifying age. For example, if you are applying for your Canada Pension Plan at regular retirement age of 65, you may apply the month following your 64th birthday. If you are applying for early retirement (starting as early as the month following your 60th birthday) your first qualifying month is the month after your application is received by Service Canada.
- I have never been to Abrigo, how do I make an appointment to see a counsellor?
- You can call us in Toronto at 416-534-3434, during regular business hours, and we will have an intake worker respond to your inquiry by telephone as soon as possible (usually on the same day). A decision will then be made on the most appropriate course of action to meet your individual needs.
- How can I obtain a Portuguese Birth, Marriage or Death Certificate?
- Certificates may be requested through the internet at:
www.portaldocidadao.ptIf you have relatives or friends in Portugal they may request a certificate on your behalf.Portuguese Consulate, www.djaccp.pt/toronto
438 University Avenue
Tel: 416- 217-0966
- How do I apply for my Portuguese, Brazilian, French, German or British Pension?
- How do I know if I qualify for a Canadian pension?
- Both the Canada Pension Plan and the Old Age Security pensions have specific qualifying criteria.You should contact the national HRSDC line at 1-800-277-9914, visit your local office or their website www.sdc.gs.ca, Income Security Programs for details regarding your individual circumstances.
- How do I obtain Brazilian Birth, Marriage or Death Certificate?
- Brazilian documents maybe requested through: www.certidao.com.br If you have relatives or friends in Brazil they may request a certificate on your behalf but you may need to give written authorization. For more information contact: Consulate General of Brazil, www.consbrastoronto.org 77 Bloor Street West Suite 1109 Toronto, Ontario M5S 1M2 Tel: 416-922-2503
- If I have a child born in Ontario how do I register and obtain a birth certificate?
- The first step is to register the birth of your child using the form “Statement of Live Birth” available at your local hospital.After you receive acknowledgement of registration you may obtain a birth certificate on line, see below, by downloading the form from the website or visiting your local registry office. You may also call 1-800-461-2156 or locally in the Toronto area at 416-325-8305.For a Birth Marriage or a Death certificate visit the website http://www.mgs.gov.on.ca/english/index.html where forms can be downloaded.
- What documents do I need to apply for my Canadian Pensions?
- The usual documents requested are; a birth and marriage certificate, a death certificate for the survivors’ pension, immigration landing document (IMM1000), social insurance card and in the case of those who are married the above is required for both spouses.For more information go to: www.sdc.gc.ca
- What happens to my pension if I leave Canada?
- If you plan on leaving Canada for more than 6 months in a one year period, you maybe considered a non resident. This will require adjustments to your pensions and you should contact your local HRSDC office or call 1-800-277-9914.For more details go to: http://www.sdc.gc.ca