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ISSofBC to showcase Welcome House Centre

ISSofBC’s future Welcome House Centre is one step closer to providing vital support services to refugees thanks to a capital grant from Vancity Credit Union (Vancity).

ISSofBC, Vancity, Settlement Orientation Services (S.O.S) and the Vancouver Public Library will mark the generous contribution by unveiling plans for the new Welcome House Centre on World Refugee Day June 20 in the concourse of the Vancouver Public Library’s Central Branch.

“This is an exciting time as we move forward to create a very unique facility for refugees as they build their new lives in Vancouver,” says ISSofBC CEO Patricia Woroch. ‘‘The centre will set a new international standard for how refugees are settled in their new homes, featuring a six-storey building that provides integrated services and support for refugees including health, education, housing, language and other settlement services.”

The ISSofBC Welcome House Centre will be the first facility of its kind in the world: a fully integrated and coordinated regional service hub that addresses the immediate needs of Government-Assisted Refugees (GARs) and immigrants.

The public event will also highlight World Refugee Day dedicated to protecting refugees and providing them with opportunities to rebuild their lives in safety and dignity.

A Vancouver City Councillor will share the City of Vancouver proclamation to dedicate every June 20 in Vancouver to World Refugee Day. In addition, several former refugees will share their stories of overcoming immense obstacles to build new lives for themselves in Vancouver.

The 58,000 sq foot-Welcome House Centre is expected to open June 20, 2015 at 2610 Victoria Drive.

Refugee Facts:

Each year 35 million people are forced to flee their homelands to escape persecution, war or severe human rights abuses.

Canada is one of 28 counties to resettle approximately 100,000 refugees a year. Of that number, Canada annually takes in one out of every 10 through the government-assisted and privately sponsored refugee programs. In 2013 Canada plans to accept 14,500 refugees from abroad, representing 5.7 per cent of all permanent residents who will settle in Canada.

BC receives an average of 2,000 refugees each year. Between 2004 and 2008 a total 9,832 refugees arrived in B.C. Of that number:

  • 42.7 percent (4,202) were government-assisted refugees;
  • 32.2 percent (3,168) were refugee claimants;
  • 13 percent (1,283) were refugee dependants; and
  • 12.0 percent (1,179) were privately sponsored refugees.


Date:

World Refugee Day and Welcome House Centre Unveiling : June 20, 2013; 11:30am to 1:00pm
Formal program 12:00-12:30pm

Location:

Concourse – Central Library, 350 West Georgia Street, Vancouver

For more details:

Contact: Bahar Taheri –  ISSofBC Departmental Coordinator – Settlement Administration
604-684-7498 ext.1602
bahar.taheri@issbc.org

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