Vancouver aiming to give newcomers a helping hand

A new facility in Vancouver will aim to assist new immigrants with settling successfully into their new surroundings.

Opened last Friday, the Immigrant Services Society of British Columbia’s (ISSofBC) Welcome Centre will help recently landed immigrants and refugees easier make the transition into their new country’s culture by helping them find jobs, housing and education.

“The new ISSofBC Welcome Centre will be a safe haven where immigrants and refugees can come for assistance to get a solid start on their new lives in Canada,” said ISSofBC CEO Patricia Woroch upon opening the Centre.

The building is outfitted with 18 housing units and up to 138 beds. Residents and others from Canada’s immigrant community will have access to a primary health clinic, an employment resource centre, financial support and a free law clinic.

“Canada is a nation built on immigration. With the opening of this Welcome Centre in Vancouver, newcomers will have streamlined access to temporary housing an on-site service from government, community organisations, public and private institutions and programs,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a press release.

The Mayor of Vancouver, Greg Robertson, was also full of praise for the new facility. “Vancouver has a longstanding commitment to welcoming refugees in times of need and the city is honoured to have contributed to the project. The Welcome Centre is an innovative response to meeting the needs of our newest residents and helping them foster a strong sense of belonging and build a future in our city.”

The Welcome Centre – located at 2610 Victoria Drive – is the first purpose-built facility of its kind in the world and aims to set a new international standard in service delivery for immigrants and refugees.

Article by David Fuller