Ontario Boosting Supports in Six Communities Receiving Most Refugees
Province Allocating $3.7 Million to Welcome Refugees
Ontario is helping to boost capacity for settlement agencies in six communities where federally funded Resettlement Assistance Program agencies are located, and which are expected to receive the majority of refugees from the Syrian conflict - who began arriving yesterday.
Earlier this year, Ontario committed $8.5 million over two and a half years to help deliver both settlement and integration supports to refugees, as well as to help organizations and groups that are supporting private sponsors. Ontario is allocating over $3.7 million of this funding to eight settlement agencies in six communities. These funds will help provide comprehensive, community-based supports for refugees, such as:
- First-language settlement services
- Specialized supports for refugee women and youth
- Access to trauma counselling and mental health services
- Housing assistance
- Employment supports.
The organizations receiving funding are: Arab Community Centre of Toronto (Toronto), Catholic Centre for Immigrants (Ottawa), COSTI Immigrant Services (Toronto), London Cross Cultural Learner Centre (London), Malton Neighbourhood Services (Mississauga), Multicultural Council of Windsor and Essex County (Windsor), Reception House Waterloo Region (Kitchener-Waterloo) and Wesley Urban Ministries (Hamilton).
More organizations will receive funding for refugee-targeted settlement services in the coming months to meet a range of needs and address service gaps in communities where refugees will settle.
The province is encouraging Ontarians to either post, or sign up to receive information on volunteer opportunities to help welcome refugees at SPARK Ontario, specifically on its webpage on Welcoming Syrian Refugees.
- In 2014, Ontario welcomed more than 11,400 refugees from around the world to start a new life in the province.
- The federal government is responsible for refugee selection, screening and the provision of settlement services, including finding interim lodging.
- On December 4, 2015, Ontario allocated $1.8 million to several organizations that help attract and support private refugee sponsors.
- Get involved in welcoming refugees from the Syrian conflict to Ontario
“Throughout our history newcomers have provided the skills, knowledge, optimism and hard work that have helped build our great province. Ensuring new Ontarians have access to a full range of settlement and support services sets them and Ontario up for success.”
“The outpouring of support from Ontarians from all walks of life has been truly inspiring. Our government is committed to working together with Ontario’s health care providers, settlement agencies and other sectors to provide the support they need to ensure that we will look back on this important moment in history with pride.”
Dr. Eric Hoskins