Serve with us!

Role Title: Host Family/Host, Refugee Services

Position Type: Part-time, volunteer

Compensation: Room and board

Location: Ottawa

Reports to: Program Coordinator, Refugee Services

Application Deadline: Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until position is filled. Ideal start date is May 1st, 2019.

Since 2010, Matthew House Ottawa has housed hundreds of refugee claimants, and provided free, quality used furniture to about 5000 families. We have done this as a large, dedicated team of volunteers and a small handful of employees, with a lot of passion and commitment.

The role of the Host Family is to provide night and weekend supervision and support for the eight residents living at Matthew House Ottawa: Refugee Services - newly arrived refugee claimants who would otherwise be homeless. The hosts ensure the smooth running of the household, build community, and provide a presence to deal with any crises or emergencies - all the while maintaining an atmosphere that supports the mission, values and Christian ethos of the organisation.

Essential functions

  • Must be able to live in the house full time

  • Is consistently in the home between 20:00 and 07:00 each weekday (with time off as approved). N.b. Incumbent is free to hold a job during the day and is not expected to be awake through the night in this role.

  • Participates in and coordinates 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).

  • Shops weekly for needed groceries and coordinates with volunteer cooks.

  • Commitment to participating in and building community at the house.

  • Must be a follower of Jesus, believe that everyone is created in God’s image, and desire to live in Matthew House as a means of Christian service.

  • This role reports to and works closely alongside the program coordinator: refugee services.

Additional Functions (including but not limited to): 

  • Intake procedures after hours (weeknights and weekends) when cannot be done during the week.

  • Assist with meal preparation as required (if no volunteer available).

  • Report any necessary repairs to Program Coordinator.

  • Welcome and encourage evening volunteers (and other visitors).


  • Demonstrated cultural sensitivity, and experience working within a culturally diverse environment.

  • Current Vulnerable Sector Police Records

  • English essential, French an asset

  • Demonstrated ability to get along well with others

  • The Host(s) must adhere to the vision, mission and values of Matthew House Ottawa.

  • Experience with conflict management, mediation, and non-violent crisis intervention preferred.

  • A couple is preferred, but we will consider a single host.

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 a cover letter and cv to 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.

Matthew House Ottawa’s name derives from our Christian roots: we are motivated by our desire to feed, clothe and shelter the strangers in our midst and to serve people who can use our help.


Matthew House Ottawa is a faith-based, transformative model of excellence caring for Ottawa’s marginalised population.


Matthew House Ottawa is a faith-based, volunteer-driven, charitable organization that helps Ottawa’s marginalised population to establish connected, safe, healthy, and dignified homes within our community. We do this by:

  • Providing shelter, food and refugee settlement assistance, including volunteer opportunities, in a family atmosphere to refugee claimants so that they may begin their journey to independence as members in Canadian society; and,

  • Distributing quality used furniture and household goods to Ottawa’s marginalised population

Values Statement

Faith Based: We live by our Christian faith and care for the stranger in response to God's call (Matthew 25:35).

Loving Service: This ministry seeks to express loving service towards each person we serve, do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.

Compassionate: We are passionate, caring, and enthusiastic in support of people's needs and seek to express a ministry of loving service toward each person we serve.

Respecting Human Dignity: We believe in respecting the value and dignity of each person receiving our services and those who serve in this ministry.

Engaging Community: We believe in building relationships with individuals, groups and other organizations to create fellowship and mutual support to help those in need.

Building Community: We believe in helping our clients to integrate into their new community to build a happy, healthy home, live in personal safety, and achieve their potential within our society.

Accountable: We are accountable to our clients, volunteers, and community partners and treat all who come in contact with this ministry with integrity, fairness, consistency, and honesty.

Environmentally Conscious: We encourage waste reduction, reuse, and recycling through our programs to promote healthy environments.