Archive for August, 2020

  • Toronto Singer OXALA to Raise Awareness and Funds for Abrigo During Fall Livestream Events

    28 August 2020 / Uncategorized / 0 Comment

    Winehouse Tribute Show Leads Off Series

    OXALA, the stage moniker of breakout performer Dianne Oliveira, will be hosting three virtual events this fall that will not only showcase an emerging Canadian talent, but also raise both awareness and funds for the Abrigo Centre in Toronto.

    "The summer of 2020 has been a season for waking up. I feel a responsibility as an artist to connect my work to efforts and endeavours beyond my own personal gain,” says OXALA. “That's why I'm teaming up with the Abrigo Centre to raise funds and generate awareness about the outstanding programs and services they provide to people in need.”

    Singer OXALA will be raising funds for the Abrigo Centre during three live events this fall.

    Plans are underway for OXALA to hold monthly livestream events, one each in September through November. The first will be an Amy Winehouse tribute show.

    “I'll be producing a series of live performances online coming very soon!” said OXALA. “Stay tuned for dates and details about how you can show me and Abrigo some love this fall.” Learn more about this exciting new performer at

    The Abrigo Centre is celebrating its 30th year providing social services to its diverse community. Started to help abused women in the GTA’s Portuguese-speaking community, Abrigo has grown into a full service agency helping over 6,500 clients annually. Of those, almost 800 each year are women assisted through its Violence Against Women program.

    “We are very excited to partner with OXALA on this initiative,” says Ed Graça, Abrigo’s Executive Director. “Not only is she an incredibly talented young performer and a vibrant personality, she sincerely wants to help make a difference for individuals and families in our community.”

    During each one of OXALA’s livestreams viewers will be directed to where donations can be made safely and securely through Abrigo’s fundraising partner CanadaHelps.

    Event details will be announced soon.

    Toronto singer, songwriter OXALA

  • Reopening Plans Underway

    10 August 2020 / Uncategorized / 0 Comment

    Abrigo begins to set guidelines for eventual reopening

    Like many other social service agencies in Toronto, Abrigo is eagerly anticipating the reopening of our agency to seeing clients in person. Although our doors closed in mid-March because of the COVID-19 pandemic, every day we currently serve our clients virtually over the phone or by email.

    Abrigo is closely following guidelines and recommendations set by the provincial government and City of Toronto in preparation for a safe reopening. It’s imperative that we stress the word “safe” because although we assist 6,500 people each year, the health, wellbeing and safety of our staff members, clients and volunteers has always been Abrigo’s primary concern.

    PPE is a Priority

    In preparation of our reopening, over the last month Abrigo has been busy securing a supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the unsung heroes of Abrigo, our frontline staff members. Their work is invaluable and their safety, as well as our clients and volunteers, is paramount. Budgeting for something like PPE was unimaginable for an agency like ours less than a year ago.

    After a recent call out for financial and product donations to build our stockpile of PPE, the generosity of our community shone through. Your support became the driving force behind our quest for much needed supplies. We thank all our cash donors, groups like Canada Sews for the donation of masks and the incredible generosity of our friends at LiUNA Local 183. At every turn, Local 183 provides unparalleled support to Abrigo without hesitation. Thank you!

    Planning the Reopening

    As a public agency, Abrigo must abide by all provincial and City of Toronto health directives and policies. With our doors shuttered, Abrigo had the opportunity to develop detailed reopening protocols to support the safety, health, and wellbeing of everyone associated with our agency.

    Following the province and city’s lead, Abrigo will also implement a phased-in approach to our reopening. The timing of our reopening is not exact just yet given the nature of the virus and the constantly changing protocols. Right now, it may look something like this:

    • Phase 1: Employees return for a one or two week period, but the office remains closed to clients and volunteers. (Tentative timeframe: late August/early September)
    • Phase 2: Office reopens to the public for “by appointment only” meetings with clients and a few select volunteers return. (Tentative timeframe: mid-September)
    • Phase 3: Start of group programs and return to providing general services including client walk-ins. (Tentative timeframe: still to be determined)

    What to Expect at Abrigo

    During each re-opening phase or until the Province of Ontario and City of Toronto concludes COVID-19 is no longer identified as a public health threat, Abrigo will enforce the following general prevention and physical distancing practices. (Please note that given the nature of the COVID-19 virus, dates and protocols can change at any time.)

    Strategies to Keep You Safe

    1. Abrigo staffing will be approximately 50 per cent in the office and 50 per cent working from home. This reduced presence on-site will ensure that we keep the number of individuals in the office to a safe level.

    • All staff, clients and volunteers will be required to wear a mask or facial covering at all times and Abrigo can refuse service to those who do not comply.

    • All clients will undergo a screening process at the front door conducted by an Abrigo volunteer or staff member.

    • Every staff member, client, volunteer or visitor that enters the building must register at the reception desk to ensure that contact tracing information is available if necessary.

    • Abrigo staff, clients and volunteers will practice physical distancing (staying six feet apart) whenever possible.

    Those are just a few of the critical items in a much larger framework for our reopening. Abrigo is looking forward to the day when we can safely reopen and return to serving clients face-to-face.

    If you would like to ensure that Abrigo’s programs and services continue to function at the highest level or to help us purchase additional PPE, please visit our website at and click on the CanadaHelps logo. It’s a safe and secure way to give back to your community and help the most vulnerable segment of our population. Thank you for your support!

  • Abrigo Examining Reopening Plans

    05 August 2020 / Uncategorized / 0 Comment

    COVID-19 has changed how Abrigo does business. Our August Discover Magazine submission outlines what's in store for clients

    As the world and our community deals with the COVID-19 pandemic, there is hope that Abrigo can reopen to seeing clients in person in the coming month. Abrigo's Manager, Fundraising and Communications, Gerry Luciano outlines the preparations Abrigo is taking to ensure staff, clients and volunteers have a safe return to the office.

    Please read our August submission to Discover Magazine here:

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