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Our History

Photo: Mark Janousek

Kinbrace is BC’s longest-serving housing provider for refugee claimants, offering dedicated support and accessible educational resources across Canada.

Launched in 1998, the Kinbrace community offers a steady and ever-widening welcome to people seeking refugee protection in Canada.

Birthed by Salsbury Community Society, a grass-roots charity rooted in the faith community of Grandview Calvary Baptist Church in east Vancouver, Kinbrace quickly became a dynamic community of welcome to people seeking refugee protection, thanks to the support of many visionary partners, including Hawthorne Charitable Foundation. With its commitment to social investment, Hawthorne partnered with Salsbury to purchase two contiguous properties in 1998 and 2005, providing the perfect architectural space for Kinbrace to offer affordable, supportive housing and engage community building.

The simple model of Canadians living with people seeking refugee protection informs and expands our capacity to welcome. In 2008, after 10 years of living together and building relationships in the wider community, Kinbrace co-founded what are now called READY Tours with the UNHCR and the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada – Refugee Protection Division.  Today, refugee claimants and service providers across the country access orientation to and information about Canada’s refugee protection system and processes through Kinbrace inspired resources.

What’s in our name?


We intentionally created the word “Kinbrace” by bringing together kinship and embrace. With the advent of Google, we learned our creativity was preempted by hundreds of years: there’s a village in Scotland by the same name! In recent years we have met, online, with a few of the friendly people of Kinbrace, Scotland, and have appreciated learning about their history.