Kinbrace FAQs

Photo: Mark Janousek

Who funds Kinbrace?
We depend on the generous and faithful support of private donors, churches, charities, foundations, and governments. Find out more about our partners here.

Do you assist refugees who are outside of Canada?
No, there are many organizations that work around the world providing assistance and support to refugees. The refugee journey is long, complex and often dangerous. At Kinbrace, our role is to welcome refugee claimants when they arrive in Vancouver. We do this by providing safe, affordable housing and assistance as refugees take the first steps toward making Canada their home.

Who are refugee claimants?
A refugee claimant is someone who has fled their country and is seeking protection because they fear risk of persecution. This could be due to their race, religion, nationality, political opinions or membership in a particular social group. Canada has a well-respected refugee protection system. For more information, go to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada website.

How many people does Kinbrace assist each year?
We provide transitional supportive housing to approximately 30 newly arrived refugee claimants each year. Every year our READY Tours provide hundreds of refugee claimants and dozens of service providers with orientation to the refugee claim process.  Our new Refugee Hearing Preparation:  A Guide for Refugee Claimants reaches hundreds of refugee claimants across BC.

How many refugee claimants come to Canada/Vancouver each year?
Between 10,000 and 40,000 people claim refugee status in Canada each year. Approximately 500-1000 of these claims are made in Metro Vancouver.

Can I volunteer at Kinbrace?
We are grateful to the many volunteers who contribute to our community. If you are interested in volunteering, please apply by starting with the VOLUNTEER tab at the top of the webpage.  Unfortunately, we are not able host all applicants.

Where are you located?
Kinbrace is a community located in two houses in east Vancouver, near Commercial Drive. As claimants seek safe and affordable housing beyond Kinbrace, they settle into homes across Metro Vancouver.  The Kinbrace family keeps growing….

Are refugee claimants legal in Canada?
Yes, refugee claimants have legal status in Canada. They are accountable to Canada’s three immigration agencies (Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Canada Border Services Agency, and the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada). For more information on refugee facts, figures, and myths see the Canadian Council for Refugees website.

How are refugee claimants referred to Kinbrace?
We collaborate with a network of regional organizations to support newly arrived refugee claimants. Those in need of housing are referred through coordinated networks such as First Contact (Canadian Red Cross) and Inland Refugee Society. They can also be referred through informal networks like community groups and connections.

How long do residents stay at Kinbrace?
Residents stay approximately 3 months. One of the key factors in determining how long residents stay is the length of time it takes to complete their refugee hearing, which is usually scheduled 1-2 months after they start their claim process. We are interested that people are as stable as possible when they move from Kinbrace. Having a work permit and social insurance number gives people the capacity to find work and make enough money to afford housing and medical coverage (MSP) in Metro Vancouver.

How long has Kinbrace been in operation?
Kinbrace started in July 1998.

What are READY Tours?
READY Tours is a collaborative Kinbrace program that helps refugee claimants understand the refugee protection system and prepare for their refugee hearings. These free orientation tours take claimants and service providers into a hearing room of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada where they see the space, learn about who will be at the hearing, and get important information regarding Canada’s refugee protection system. Refugee claimants and service providers are encouraged to register for a READY Tour by contacting


Since 1998, Kinbrace has provided supportive housing to over 400 people seeking refugee protection.