Emmanuel’s road to stability in Canada had a rocky start. He arrived in Vancouver as a refugee and soon found himself living in a shelter and relying on a local church for food.
“It was stressful to go to the refugee hearings with the uncertainty of it all,” says Emmanuel.
When he decided to move to Winnipeg to be closer to his family and take an employment opportunity, he met with Caroline Bognar, coordinator for the Homeward Bound initiative and Community Integration Specialist at the Ministry of Social Development & Poverty Reduction (SDPR).
Homeward Bound brings together organizations doing similar work of reuniting individuals with loved ones in another community – bringing together limited resources, added flexibility, and broadening the eligibility for the program.
“Caroline was amazing – she helped me to stand on my own two feet, even when I was struggling in my new community,” he says.
Emmanuel has since returned to Vancouver and gotten off social assistance. He has also found a life partner and married this year.
“I love helping others. I hope that when others ask me for advice, I’ll be able to help them find their path and reconnect with their loved ones and community.”