The roots of Reception House go back to 1985 when the K-W House Church began providing housing for refugees at 101 David Street, across from Victoria Park in Kitchener. It wasn’t until December of 1987 that Reception House (then known as K-W Reception Centre) was formally established, receiving 36 families from different backgrounds. In 1989, the federal government commenced the Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) at Reception House, making it one of 30 similar sites across Canada. Over 30 years later, we continue to be the first point of service for government assisted refugees coming to Waterloo region.
Over the past three decades, Reception House Waterloo Region has supported hundreds of refugees each year from all over the world. Alongside temporary accommodation and initial integration services, we also offer life skills orientations, health referrals, housing support, and youth programming. The combination of these programs helps newcomers feel a sense of belonging and empowers them to settle in their new community.
In recent years, Reception House has partnered with Kitchener’s Centre for Family Medicine, McMaster medical students, pharmacists and optometrists throughout the region to create the Refugee Health Clinic.
In September 2021, we moved our administrative offices to 56 Regina St. North in Waterloo. Due to increasing numbers of refugees and the impact of the pandemic, we have consolidated our temporary accommodations into a hotel model of service. Our link to 101 David St is a foundational part of our history and we continue to value the relationship we have with House Church.