KELOWNA– The Refugee Response Team operated by Kelowna Community Resources Society that is helping refugees settle in Kelowna and area will be receiving $20,691 — its second allocation of funding from the Refugee Readiness Fund.

Funding has been provided in two instalments with the first portion delivered in the spring and the remainder now based on updated settlement numbers. Supported by the initial $30,000 through the $1 million Refugee Readiness Fund, the Refugee Response Team in Kelowna will identify and prioritize short-term community needs to support a coordinated approach to helping refugees.  Examples of the Team’s work include providing links with employers or other labour market opportunities and coordinating community supports

The teams have representatives from the refugee service provider community: settlement organizations, private sponsors, churches, educators, health care providers and employers. The Ministry is continuing to engage with settlement communities across the Province to ensure they have the capacity to support any current and incoming refugees.

“Canada Day is the perfect time to celebrate the greatest country in the world – and to reflect on just how fortunate we are to live here,” says Premier Christy Clark, MLA for Westside-Kelowna. “This Refugee Response Team is helping newcomers realize that dream and build lives in their new home.”

“These refugees have fled unimaginable circumstances, and the people of Kelowna have provided a warm and safe welcome to them,” says Steve Thomson, MLA for Kelowna-Mission. “This next round of funding will help provide further supports to these newcomers.”

“For more than 30 years, the Kelowna Community Resources Society has been helping individuals and families here in our community,” says Norm Letnick, MLA for Kelowna-Lake Country. “Now they’re extending that high level of service to refugees, and this investment supports that important work.”

Quick Facts:

  • In addition to the $1 million Refugee Readiness Fund, the province funds a number of programs for all newcomers, including:
    • $1.5 million through the Canada-BC Job Grant to help get refugees job training and match them with employers;
    • $4 million for services for newcomers not eligible for federal services, such as:
      • Orientation and community connections;
      • Formal and informal language training and practice; and
      • Trauma counselling for refugee claimants.
  • Every refugee student who enrolls in a B.C. public school will be funded from the Province’s pupil funding formula.
  • Like all British Columbians, refugees have access to medical, employment and other government services.

To learn more, please visit the new enhanced WelcomeBC.ca which is streamlined, easier to use and available through mobile devices and social media: www.welcomebc.ca.