Government representatives, local First Nations, private donors, and an ISSofBC client did some digging last Friday to celebrate the start of construction on the new Welcome House, a multi-service hub designed to support immigrants and refugees in Metro Vancouver.
“Today’s groundbreaking for our New Welcome House is the result of years of hard work and dedication from our staff and partners and we are so proud to be marking the start of construction on the UN-designated World Refugee Day. We understand that starting a new life in another country can be very hard, especially when you’re unfamiliar with the culture, language and laws. The new Welcome House 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.
The building, located at 2610 Victoria Dr., will feature 16 housing units to create multiple bedrooms capable of accommodating various configurations from singles to families up to 138 beds. The new Welcome House will be the first facility of its kind in the world, bringing together under one roof several organizations, public institutions, government services and programs to address the immediate needs of refugees and immigrants arriving in BC.
Guest speakers at the June 20 event included (from left in photo) Mayor Gregor Robertson – City of Vancouver, Councillor Liana Martin – Tsliel-Waututh Nation, Suzanne Anton – Minister of Justice and MLA for Vancouver-Fraserview, Jan Rice – General Manager of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Linda Morris – Vancity Senior Vice President of Business Development, Member and Community Engagement, Yassin Muktar Mussa – ISSofBC client , Patricia Woroch – ISSofBC CEO, and Manchan Sonachansingh – ISSofBC Board of Directors President.
The new Welcome House is slated for completion in the winter of 2016.