About Refugee 613

Our vision

Everyone thrives in a welcoming world.

Our mission

Refugee 613 is an agile and innovative communications hub that informs, connects and inspires people to welcome refugees and build strong communities.

Our history

Ottawa has welcomed refugees for decades. In 2015, that welcome got warmer.

Syria's crisis drew the world's attention to refugees everywhere. In Ottawa, many volunteers, sponsors and community agencies surged forward to help. But knowledge of existing settlement services was limited, pathways to participation weren't always clear, and people struggled to find the information they wanted. At the same time, the realities and diversity of the refugee journey were complex and not widely known. Too often, the best intentions still resulted in frustration.

That's when Refugee 613 began, supported by a coalition of more than 30 partners led by local settlement, health and private sponsorship experts. Our grassroots initiative has since grown into an established communications hub where refugee newcomers and those who support them can come for answers, for training, and for opportunities to share their stories.

Our coalition turned a moment of public attention on the global refugee crisis into a way of building community. We work to ensure that Ottawa provides new arrivals with the help and support they need no matter where they come from, and we share our experience and knowledge to help other communities do the same.

For more information about the history of Refugee 613 and Ottawa's role in Canada's Syrian refugee resettlement project, visit our storytelling website, Community.



Refugee 613 is guided by a large and diverse Stakeholder Committee, representing a wide cross-section of Ottawa agencies, institutions and individuals, including settlement, private sponsorship, school boards, municipal government, Ottawa Police Service, Ottawa Food Bank, refugee shelters, health agencies, lawyers, faith groups, community volunteers and many more. A sub-group of stakeholders serves on an Executive Committee. The Stakeholder Committee meets approximately six times a year to share information, identify trends and provide direction for project activities. Attendance at our Stakeholder meetings is open to anyone working with refugees in Ottawa.


Although the size of our team varies according to project activities, we always operate with the same spirit: how can we help you? To reach us, please send an email to info@refugee613.ca or call 613-725-5671, ext. 640 and your message will be directed to the most appropriate team member. Both phone and email are monitored daily.

Funding & Partners

We are grateful to receive project funding from the Federal and Ontario governments, major gifts through the Ottawa Community Foundation and countless donations from members of the public. We also benefit from extensive in-kind donations from our member agencies and external partners, who regularly share their time and expertise to assist in our work. Past major funders and key partners include the Canadian Red Cross and the United Way of Ottawa/Gatineau. For more information on becoming a funding partner, please connect with us at info@refugee613.ca.


We’ll help you connect to the people, information, and training you need to succeed. If you don’t find what you’re looking for on our website, please get in touch at info@refugee613.ca or 613-725-5671, ext. 640.

Contact us