Matthew House Ottawa

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This profile originally appeared in the 2019-20 Giving Guide. Read the full magazine here.

When refugees arrive in Ottawa after fleeing persecution in their countries of origin, they often come with little but the clothes on their back. Matthew House Ottawa gives refugee claimants safety, hope and the resources to start over in the wake of unspeakable adversity.

We offer temporary housing, food and settlement support during refugees' first few difficult months in Canada. We also provide donated furniture to newcomers and low-income residents setting up a home for the first time. By picking up furniture that would otherwise be discarded and redistributing it to those in need, we promote sustainability while helping vulnerable individuals start a new life.

Raxon and Souffrant

At a glance

Year founded: 2010

Geographic region of focus: Ottawa

Total revenue for last fiscal year: $393,082

Top funding sources: 

  • Individuals: 30%
  • Corporate: 4%
  • Government: 2%
  • Other charities: 4%
  • Other sources: 60%

How you can help


The impact of donor support on Matthew House Ottawa services is very concrete: you help feed and house refugees, furnish the apartments of newcomers and low-income individuals, and provide settlement support for those who arrived in Canada in search of safety and a better life.

With partnerships allowing us to rent both housing and furniture bank space at a minimal cost, donor dollars help purchase groceries to feed Matthew House residents, offer support in navigating the refugee claimant process and fund gas for the truck that transports furniture throughout Ottawa. Your generosity makes a significant difference in the lives of refugees.

Matthew House Fellas


Matthew House operates on a shoestring budget with only three full-time staff, meaning our programming relies heavily on the commitment of dedicated volunteers. A variety of volunteer opportunities can be found online at

We are particularly in need of cooks to prepare dinner once a week between Monday and Thursday, and warehouse assistants to help lift heavy furniture at our Furniture Bank location in Kanata. Matthew House also welcomes individuals to provide support in finding housing, refugee settlement and translation. Giving a few volunteer hours each week can make a lifetime impact on a refugee starting anew.

Events and fundraising

Matthew House Ottawa participates in the non-competitive cycling event Ride for Refuge that supports charities that provide refuge and hope for displaced, vulnerable and exploited people everywhere. The event takes place each year in early October.

Board members and executives

Reeser and Kuhn
Executive director Allan Reesor-McDowell (Left); Chair of the board Steven Kuhn

Steven Kuhn

Laura Kuhn

Hannah Marazzi

Meredith Ward

Aaron Webber

Helen Reimer

Ian McLaren

Fundraising priorities

  • A three-tonne truck to help pick up furniture from Ottawa residents and deliver to refugees and low-income individuals starting their home.
  • Donations to help fund the acquisition of a second house to expand accommodation and support for refugees.
  • Household furniture in good condition.

Get in touch

380 Centrepointe Dr.
Ottawa, Ont.
K2G 6A1

Facebook: /MHOttawa
Twitter: @MHOttawa