• Next OXALA Benefit Livestream for Abrigo is coming on Sun. Oct. 25th

    16 October 2020 / Uncategorized / 0 Comment

    Watch on Zoom or Heyoxala on Instagram

    OXALA, the stage moniker of breakout performer Dianne Oliveira, will be hosting “And Now in Portuguese” a bilingual livestream concert and benefit show celebrating her Portuguese roots on Sunday, October 25, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. on her HeyOXALA Instagram account and Zoom (meeting ID:889 4971 1874).

    Along with her guitarist Alan Kulka, the performance will draw on various musical styles including well known Portuguese and English Bossa Nova, Jazz, Pop and Fado songs. During the show OXALA will be performing, for the first time live, her new bilingual original “As Vozes de Nao” or “The Noise of No”.


    As with the rising star’s first livestream benefit event in support of Abrigo last month, in lieu of purchasing a ticket, viewers will be encouraged to financially support the Abrigo Centre. Donations can be made safely and securely at Abrigo’s website

    Now in its 30th year of operation, the Abrigo Centre, located in west-end Toronto, is a social service agency that assists over 6,500 clients each year with a primary focus on women who face domestic violence and abuse.

    “From their violence against women program, to their work with seniors, youth and newcomers, Abrigo does an outstanding job helping those in need in the Portuguese community and for local area residents,” says OXALA. “Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, they’ve been open, available virtually, and a cornerstone of service assisting individuals and families during this difficult time.”

    Please visit OXALA’s website for more event information.

    Guitarist Alan Kulka and OXALA

  • In-Class or Virtual Schooling is the Question for Parents This Fall

    07 October 2020 / Uncategorized / 0 Comment

    Abrigo Counsellor Luciana Pache de Faria covers this important question in our October Discover Magazine submission

    Every September parents can't wait for Labour Day to arrive and the return to school for their children. Obviously, this year is different and it was quite a stressful time as parents debated the merits and possible dangers of sending their kids back into schools around our city.

    Abrigo counsellor Luciana Pache de Faria examines all the options and all the struggles parents made to make the right decision on their children's future. Please read more about this important topic here:

  • First Alert Canada and Toronto Fire Services support Abrigo During Fire Prevention Week

    07 October 2020 / Uncategorized / 0 Comment

    Donation of 100 fire alarms will go to our most vulnerable clients

    October 4 through October 10, 2020 is Fire Prevention Week in Ontario and Abrigo helped celebrate this important event by attending a special ceremony at Fire Station 345 on Dufferin St. in Toronto on Wednesday, October 7, 2020.

    Three local charities (including Abrigo) that provide outstanding support to their respected communities were recognized by First Alert Canada with a donation of 100 fire alarms each.

    Abrigo thanks First Alert Canada for their generous donation as well as Toronto Deputy Mayor Ana Bailao for her ongoing support of our agency and all the men and women of Toronto Fire Services who do a tremendous job day after day keeping us all safe and educating all local residents and children about fire prevention. Thank you!

    Ed Graca, Abrigo's Executive Director

  • Abrigo's AGM is October 29th - Become a Member Today

    25 September 2020 / Uncategorized / 0 Comment

    Membership with Abrigo has its privileges!

    Being a member of the Abrigo Centre does have its privileges. For only $10 annually, membership allows you to vote on motions, approve annual financial statements and nominees to the Board of Directors.

    Community participation in the life and work of an agency like Abrigo is crucial to its success. To become a member please visit the Membership page on this website today.

    Please join us at Abrigo's virtual Annual General Meeting on Thursday, October 29 at 7:00 pm on Zoom. Please register to get the Zoom link and for more information. See the poster below for more details.

  • Abrigo is Hiring

    25 September 2020 / Uncategorized / 0 Comment

    We're looking for a Programs Manager/Clinical Supervisor

    Abrigo Centre is hiring for a Programs Manager/Clinical Supervisor. This is a new, fulltime, senior level position within our organization.

    For all the details please visit our Employment Opportunities page on this website.

    Deadline for application submissions is October 13, 2020.

  • OXALA sings Amy in Support of Abrigo

    15 September 2020 / Uncategorized / 0 Comment

    Amy Winehouse Tribute Livestream goes on Sun. Sept. 20 at 7:00 p.m.

    OXALA, the stage moniker of breakout performer Dianne Oliveira, will be hosting “Remembering Amy” a tribute concert celebrating the music of Amy Winehouse on Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. on Zoom (meeting ID: 832 4413 1429).

    “When people hear me perform and say ‘You sound like Amy Winehouse’ I am always honoured,” says OXALA. “Early this week, Amy would have been 37 years old, to honour her life and her legacy, I’ll be covering her greatest hits and some of my lesser known favourites.”

    During the free show, OXALA will encourage viewers to show their support by donating to Toronto’s Abrigo Centre, a social service agency that assists over 6,500 clients each year with a focus on women who face domestic violence and abuse.

    “In lieu of a ticket for the event, 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,” says OXALA

    OXALA’s livestream viewers will be directed to where donations can be made safely and securely through Abrigo’s fundraising partner CanadaHelps.


  • COVID-19 Has Mandated Agencies Like Abrigo to Focus on Virtual Counselling

    02 September 2020 / Uncategorized / 0 Comment

    Abrigo's September Discover Magazine submission takes a look at the challenges and benefits of online counselling

    Like most others in her field, Abrigo counsellor Martina Esteves had little to no experience doing online counselling before the COVID-19 pandemic struck the world. Despite the initial trepidation, virtual counselling has actually worked out fairly well for most of Abrigo's clients.

    Please read more about Martina's experiences here:

  • 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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