• 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:

  • Abrigo and Discover Magazine team up with new monthly series

    09 July 2020 / Uncategorized / 0 Comment

    July article provides an update on Abrigo's activities during the COVID-19 pandemic

    The Abrigo Centre has partnered with the digital edition of Discover Magazine to submit a monthly article that provides insight into the work that is happening with our agency.

    Each month we will examine the programs, services and people that make Abrigo one of the longest serving and most beloved social service agencies in the city of Toronto.

    In our first issue, Abrigo's Executive Director Ed Graca gives you a quick overview of all the activities that have happened since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold and how staff are assisting clients today remotely by phone or by email.

    Please take a look of our first article here:

    Abrigo counsellors are only seeing their clients virtually now because of COVID-19.

  • Abrigo's office Remains Closed to Walk-in Clients but we Continue to Work Remotely to Assist You

    07 July 2020 / Uncategorized / 0 Comment

    Call between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays for assistance

    The Abrigo Centre remains closed to walk-in clients but our staff members are still helping clients virtually over the phone and are seeing a very limited number of "by appointment only" clients. This practice is designed to help keep our staff members, clients and volunteers healthy and safe.

    If you need assistance please call us at 416-534-3434 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and one of our highly trained counsellors will return your call.

    Thank you and please remain vigilant and safe.

  • Thank You to our Volunteers

    02 June 2020 / Uncategorized / 0 Comment

    Abrigo thanks those who give their time and energy to help others.

    Abrigo was proud and honored to recently thank our 100 plus volunteers. Our normal recognition event in April was obviously cancelled so a new strategy was devised to say "thank you" in a meaningful way.

    Pre-pandemic, an agency like Abrigo can not function on the highest level like we do without the assistance of an army of volunteers. To say thank you we provided all with a recognition certificate in the mail and some included an additional small gift.

    For 15 phenomenal volunteers who donated more than 300 hours of service we delivered, while remaining physically distanced, a special box of gourmet cookies.

    Thank you to all our volunteers, your support makes a huge difference to our agency and the community as a whole. Hopefully we will gather together as one again in 2021.

  • 2020 Victoria Day closure!

    15 May 2020 / Uncategorized / 0 Comment

    Virtual Abrigo closes for holiday

    Please note that Abrigo will be closed on the Victoria Day Monday, May, 18 for the long weekend. If needed, please leave us a message at 416-534-3434 and one of our counsellors will call you back on Tuesday, May 19.

    Thank you and please stay safe and enjoy!

  • Support our Seniors on #GivingTuesdayNow

    05 May 2020 / Uncategorized / 0 Comment

    New May edition helps fight the impact of COVID-19

    Like most frontline social service agencies, Abrigo’s doors are closed because of COVID-19 but our daily work continues. At this difficult time, one set of Abrigo clients need our special attention.

    There are seniors in our Life and Hope group at greater risk because of COVID-19. It’s not necessarily a health concern but instead, food insecurity looms over the heads of some.

    With a small fixed income and extremely limited resources, some seniors count on the breakfast and lunch they receive three days a week at Abrigo. With the agency’s doors temporarily closed, these individuals are more vulnerable than ever before.

    Please help us purchase food vouchers to send to our seniors. Your financial support means that together we can feed those in need. Please make your safe and secure donation now.

    Just click the CanadaHelps Donate Now button on the top right corner of this page or any other on this website to make a safe and secure donation.

    The COVID-19 pandemic has hit us all hard. Yet, some in our community are taking the sting of the virus’ punch more than others. Your donation today will make a difference for an Abrigo senior.

    Please know that Abrigo counsellors are making regular check-in calls to ensure all our clients are doing okay.

    Thank you for your support for this special Giving Tuesday initiative!

  • Easter Holiday Means Service Delivery Closure

    09 April 2020 / Uncategorized / 0 Comment

    Impacts both Good Friday and Easter Monday

    Please be advised that the Abrigo Centre will be closed from Friday, April 10 through to Monday, April 13 because of the Easter Holiday.

    The COVID-19 pandemic has altered how Abrigo provides services to our clients. At this time we are providing services over the phone or by email only.

    Abrigo staff members will be back taking your calls on Tuesday, April 14 at 9:00 a.m. If you need assistance please call us then at 416-534-3434. Thank you.

  • Atualização da prestação de Serviços do Centro Abrigo

    01 April 2020 / Uncategorized / 0 Comment

    Durante estes tempos sem precedentes, o Abrigo está a funcionar mas, os Conselheiros estão a atender os clientes remotamente.

    A triagem de clientes  das 13:00 às 15:00 é agora feita por telefone
    das 9:00 às 17:00. Saiba que os Conselheiros do Abrigo estão prontos a
    ajudá-los. Ligue para 416-534-3434, e um de nossos funcionários qualificados irá
    entrar em contato consigo o mais rápido possível.

    Apenas um lembrete de que todos
    os grupos e atividades do Abrigo, incluindo nosso grupo de idosos, estão
    temporariamente suspensos até novo aviso.

    Continue a monitorar a sua saúde, mantenha-se seguro e se precisar de assistência entre em contato connosco.Continuaremos a ligar as pessoas às possibilidades.


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