My name is Ricky. I’m originally from a low income family in England, and moved to Canada several years ago to study for a masters degree in climate change.
During my degree, I experienced intense academic abuse working with my thesis supervisor – a powerful professor who had tenure. The huge stress that I was under triggered intense panic attacks, a heart arytthmia, post traumatic stress disorder, and forced me into a humanitarian crisis where I lost my status as a student in Canada. Without status, I cannot legally work here and earn money to support myself.
I reached out to social support services in my city and requested emergency financial support to cover rent and food costs, but was refused support because I am not a permanent resident or refugee claimant. I learned that I am invisible to social support programs unless I change my status.
To that end, after speaking to an immigration lawyer, I discovered that I need to apply for permanent residency and an open access work permit through Immigration Canada’s Humanitarian and Compassionate Consideration Program – the application fee is $1,085.
Once the application fee is paid, the applicant must wait 90 days (three months) to receive an open access work permit in the mail. The work permit allows said applicant to work full time and support themselves while they wait for a decision on their application for permanence of residence in Canada (which takes 22 months to process at the moment).
Given this information, I have set up this fundraiser in hopes that someone out their in the world will help me raise the sum of $1,085. Obtaining the open access work permit is a crucial step to stabilizing my life: I will be able to support myself financially and prevent my current situation from repeating in the future.
I also need financial support to cover my rent and food costs during the 90 day period until the work permit arrives. My rent costs $625.00 per month (so that’s $1,875 for 90 days) and my food costs $100 per week (so that’s $400 per month or $1,200 for 90 days). Combining these numbers brings a total of $3,075 for my basic needs each month.
Adding $3,075 + $1,085 (the application fee for permanent residency), brings the total amount that I am looking to fundraise to $4,160.
Because I am from a low income family in England, there is no financial or logistical support to help me fix the situation. If I were deported to England tomorrow, the risks of homelessness, destitution, and starvation that I face here in Canada would follow me back home.
I am safer here in Canada because I have support from social volunteers at a local church and a lot of support from a fantastic psychologist who is helping me through this difficult time without charging me anything for their professional advice.
Setting up this fundraiser is a last resort. My landlord knows that I have run out of money – they have granted me 4 weeks (November) to find $625 to cover November rent. In addition to this, the local church that I referred to earlier will provide me with a $50 food voucher for November – that’s the best they can do.
This means that I have four weeks to start raising money. To repeat, my overall target is $4,160.
To whoever is reading this, without your support, I will be homeless and destitute in 4 weeks time and will not have any money left to buy food in 2 weeks time.
Any financial help that I receive will be greatly appreciated and never forgotten. My future ambition is to train to become a psychologist. I would like to specialize in trauma therapy and help people achieve their potential in life – becoming a licensed psychologist is a long term goal that could be achievable if I can get my life back on track: the first steps are raising money to apply for permanent residency and the open access work permit and the costs of rent and food for the next three months.
Every little helps, so if you can donate, please do. Or if you know someone who can help, please consider passing this fundraiser onto them.
Thanks so much,