Five community organizations have been chosen to lead Refugee Response Teams to help refugees settle and integrate into British Columbia communities.
The teams are supported by a $500,000 investment from the $1-million Refugee Readiness Fund. They will identify and prioritize short-term community needs to support a co-ordinated approach to helping refugees. For example, the teams may provide links with employers or other labour market opportunities and co-ordinate community supports.
Organizations and their service area include:
- MOSAIC, Metro Vancouver
- DiverseCity, Fraser Valley
- Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society (VIRCS), Vancouver Island
- Kelowna Community Resources Society, Thompson Okanagan
- Immigrant and Multicultural Services Society of Prince George (IMSSPG), Cariboo
“With the investment in these Refugee Response Teams, or government is helping connect newcomers with services and build a new life in communities that they choose to settle in,” Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour, Shirley Bond said.
The teams will have representatives from the refugee service-provider community: settlement organizations, private sponsors, churches, educators, health-care providers and employers. The ministry will continue to engage with settlement communities throughout the province to ensure that the teams have the capacity to support all incoming refugees.
All refugees are eligible for the Child Care Subsidy, B.C. Early Childhood Tax Benefit, and the BC Basic Family Bonus.