Jan 23, 2017 Winnipeg Free Press reported: A Winnipeg drop-in centre for LGBT people is putting a call out for help after a spike in the number of refugees coming for support.
The Rainbow Resource Centre calls the increase over the last two weeks “dramatic,” and says its counsellors are becoming overwhelmed with calls from refugees, their lawyers and settlement workers.
“We’ve done a call out to the community to ask for help in providing additional hours to our counsellors,” said Mike Tutthill, the centre’s executive director.
He added staff are hoping to get more government funding and donations to pay for the increased demand in counselling.
Frostbitten refugee will lose fingers after trek to cross U.S.-Canada border
Gay Syrian finds refuge in Winnipeg
The story of LGBT refugees coming to Winnipeg in search of a better life hit the spotlight this month after two Ghanaian men fled to Canada on Christmas Eve in the bitter cold.
The journey left both men severely injured with serious frostbite requiring amputation. Just a few weeks prior, a gay man from Syria arrived in Winnipeg, ending a five-year search for refuge that some of his friend didn’t survive.
Adam, a gay man from Syria, arrived in Winnipeg in December. (Austin Grabish/CBC)
Tutthill said the centre has been receiving as many as 10 calls per week over the last two weeks from asylum-seekers.
He said the increase in calls started in November.
Tutthill said the refugees are coming from Africa and Eastern Europe and often need help validating their stories.