After a long journey refugees trying to enter Canada can find shelter at Casa el Norte in Fort Erie. Run by the Sisters of St. Mary Namur, Casa el Norte helps, "refugees coming into Canada who don't have a place to stay," Sister Judith Carroll, SSMN, provincial superior said. "Once at the shelter they immediately receive food, clothing and sense of security above all."
"We have sisters working on both sides of the border with refugees," Sister Judith said. While Casa el Norte helps those entering Canada, the Sisters of St. Mary of Namur, along with their associates, here in the United States at Our Lady of Hope Parish help Casa el Norte by raising needed funds to keep shelter open.
In it's second year, the fundraiser to help and assist local refugees will be held on Aug. 3 at Spring Lake Winery in Lockport from 5 to 8 p.m. Located at 7373 Rochester Road, Lockport, the event cost is $40 and includes a buffet dinner, wine tasting, cash bar and other raffles and games. "Money is used for direct services for the refugees," Sister Judith said. "Anything that would be needed when they first begin."
Located near the Peace Bridge Casa el Norte sees to the needs of refugees seeking to enter Canada. Basic needs like food, clothes and possibly legal fees. "Little by little they are helped with their forms, their asylum case, their schools," Sister Judith said. "It's the first home for people coming into Canada, refugees that have nowhere to go." Translators are also on staff to help communicate and guide clients.