What is Egale's Freedom Fund?
Worldwide, same-sex sexual relationships and/or LGBT identities are criminalized in 76 countries. For many LGBT individuals looking to escape violent and repressive regimes, Canada is seen as a unique bastion of hope. Egale Canada Human Rights Trust’s Freedom Fund is an interest-free loan program to help LGBT refugees transition to a new life in Canada. Funds can be used to cover the cost of rent, hydro, clothing, food and furniture. Loans must be paid back within twelve months so that other newcomers can benefit.
How to apply?
The Freedom Fund application process is open throughout the year on a first come first served basis for eligible applicants across Canada. Eligible applicants must be referred by an organization from which they are accessing services. The referring agency must complete the Referral Form and submit a letter.
With the support of the referring agency, the applicant must complete the Freedom Fund Application, ensuring to include all supporting documentation. Only completed and signed applications will be considered for the Freedom Fund. Applicants will be contacted for a brief interview to gather background information and additional details about their situation. Next, applicants will receive notification on the outcome of their application via email. Recipients of the Freedom Fund must sign a Loan Agreement and complete a Pre-Authorized Debit Agreement for repayment. Freedom Fund loans must be repaid within 12 months of receipt in full or installments.
Who is eligible?
To qualify for a loan a person must:
- Have Refugee Status;
- Not be receiving formal support through the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program;
- Have a Canadian bank account;
- Be referred by a designated referring agency;
- Be over 18 years of age;
- Provide a piece of photo identification; and
- Provide proof of the purpose of the loan (i.e. rental agreement, bills etc.).
Those who meet the qualifications of the Freedom Fund are eligible to apply for a one-time loan for any combination of the items listed below, up to a maximum of $1,500.