Where did the Syrian Government-Assisted Refugees (GARs) who arrived in Metro Vancouver as part of the largest refugee resettlement initiative in Canadian history set up home? The answer may prove surprising.
The report Syrian Refugee Settlement Patterns in Metro Vancouver: Changing Patterns and New Influences released today by ISSofBC, provides a glimpse of where Syrian GARs who arrived between November 4, 2015 and December 31, 2016 currently reside.
“The geography of refugee resettlement among Government Assisted Refugees in Metro Vancouver is largely one of housing affordability,” the report stated, “(but) Widespread interest in the resettlement of Syrian refugees and a desire to get involved directly, has resulted in the emergence of non-traditional settlement locations.”
Over 3,200 Syrian refugees have settled in 69 communities throughout BC, including close to 2,000 GARs who were assisted by ISSofBC. As the main resettlement assistance partner of the government of Canada for BC-destined GARs, ISSofBC provides reception services, temporary housing and assistance in permanent housing search.
“Following our report on Syrian outcomes (Syrian Refugee Operations to BC: One Year In – A Roadmap to Integration and Citizenship) released last December, we wanted to map out their settlement patterns as a tool to assist policy makers, social planners, funders, services providers and other key settlement partners like TransLink in their efforts to effectively address the settlement and integration needs of Syrian refugees,” said Chris Friesen, ISSofBC’s Director of Settlement Services.