About Refugee 613

Who we are and what we do

Refugee 613 is a coalition of citizens, settlement agencies, sponsorship groups and community partners working to provide refugees with the building blocks of successful integration: a warm welcome and access to key services, opportunities and support. As a non-partisan, grassroots effort, we aim to build on Ottawa's settlement services by providing our partners and the public with information, connection and inspiration.

Our Vision

Refugee 613 envisions an Ottawa that is fully welcoming to refugees, a city that is proud to cooperatively and effectively receive and integrate significant numbers of new refugees annually, contributing to our collective prosperity.

Our Mission

Refugee 613 strives to maximize the efforts of many organizations and individuals by offering a vehicle for informing, connecting and inspiring, in order to achieve excellence in welcoming and settling as many refugees as possible in our city.

Our Values

What We Do

Refugee 613 has three main pillars of work: Inform, Connect and Inspire.


Refugee 613 strives to be a central hub for anyone seeking information on ways to help refugees. We provide:


Refugee 613 helps people and organizations connect to clients, stakeholders and each other by convening spaces for collaboration on a range of refugee issues. We organize both formal task forces and informal working groups, as well as work one-on-one with people who want to assist in the refugee effort as partners or volunteers.

 Task forces

Working Groups

Sponsorship: Sponsorship agreement holders, settlement agencies and private sponsorship groups share information and plan and provide sponsorship training.

Employment: Representatives from immigrant employment agencies, employment officers from the City of Ottawa and Province of Ontario, training programs and settlement agencies collaborating to discuss employment challenges specific to refugees, to direct employment and training offers from local businesses and institutions, and deliver collaborative events aimed at providing career guidance and opportunities for refugees.

Community Outreach: Volunteers and professionals collaborating to map and connect with key community organizations and individuals, particularly in the local Arabic-speaking communities, to ensure their perspective is included in Refugee 613's work and to raise awareness of refugee issues within the communities.


Refugee 613 uses its web site, blog and public events to tell the story of what Ottawa is doing to welcome and integrate refugees and to highlight gaps, challenges and success stories. We also receive media inquiries and refer them to appropriate experts in the community. The goal is always to inspire a warmer welcome, a broader base of support and a stronger understanding of the refugee experience and what refugees have to offer their new home.

How We Do It

Refugee 613 is a community project hosted by one of our members, OCISO (Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization). We are grateful to receive funding from two main sources: the Province of Ontario, which provides essential operational funding (including salaries and administrative costs), and members of the public, whose generous donations enable us to do even more. We also benefit from extensive donations in kind from our member agencies and external partners, who regularly share their time and expertise to assist in carrying out our work.

Who We Are

Our work is guided by the insights of a large and diverse Stakeholder Committee, representing a wide cross-section of Ottawa agencies, institutions and perspectives. A small sub-group of stakeholders serves on the Executive Committee, which oversees operations.

Stakeholder Committee

Executive members


Louisa Taylor, Director

Sally Dimachki, Project Coordinator

Kate Grisdale, Project Coordinator

Lama Chami, Digital Outreach Coordinator

Diane Tuyishime, Communications Specialist

Contact us

Phone 613-725-5671, ext. 640

Learn More

Contact us