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The role of the Host/Host Family is to provide night and weekend support for residents living at a 3rd Matthew House Ottawa: Refugee Services location, a home for refugee claimants who would otherwise be homeless. Hosts ensure the smooth running of the household, build community, and provide a presence to deal with any urgent needs – all the while maintaining an atmosphere that supports the mission, vision and values of the organisation.

Compensation: Free room and board (e.g. private bedroom, food, internet, utilities)

You would be asked to:

  • Live in the house full time
  • Be home and/or on call between 20:00 and 07:00 (with time off as approved). You are free to hold a job during the day, and are not expected to be awake through the night in this role.
  • Participate in and coordinate house chores (e.g. responsible for maintaining cleanliness of house, ensures garbage removal and recycling and cleaning have been taken care of on a weekly basis).
  • Ensure that the food and supplies required are available (provide house manager with shopping lists) and coordinate with volunteer cooks.
  • Participate in and build community at the house.
  • Report to and work closely alongside the program coordinator: refugee services.


You would also be asked to: 

  • Welcome and encourage evening volunteers (and other visitors).
  • Help with welcoming new residents after hours (weeknights and weekends from time to time)
  • Assist with meal preparation to ensure dinner is served (with groceries or frozen meals, from time to time).
  • Report any necessary repairs to program coordinator


You would need to have:

  • Excellent people skills
  • The ability to practice patience with a non-judgmental attitude
  • Good communication skills in English mandatory, with strong preference for ability to communicate in French and other languages as well
  • Police Records Check (Level 3 – Vulnerable sector check)
  • Demonstrated cultural sensitivity, and experience working within a culturally diverse environment.
  • Experience with conflict management, mediation, and non-violent crisis intervention preferred.
  • Passion for the mission of Matthew House Ottawa to welcome and support refugees in Ottawa


NOTE: This role description is not intended to be all-inclusive. Volunteer may perform other related duties as negotiated to meet the ongoing needs of the organization.

Please email your resume to, an expression of interest clearly addressing how you meet the requirements and can carry out the essential functions of this position. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.

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