Ottawa’s warm welcome to Syrian refugees just got even warmer, thanks to a $450,000 donation from the Welcome Fund for Syrian Refugees.   The Catholic Centre for Immigrants is one of three local recipients of the funding, which the Community Foundation of Ottawa is distributing in support of local settlement efforts.   The funding will go to housing and rent subsidies, mental health supports, and employment assistance.  Also receiving funding are Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization and World Skills.

The Welcome Fund was established with major contributions from Manulife, CN, and GM to address the gap in affordable housing.  Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, John McCallum, praised Canada’s corporate community for their efforts, and thanked them for “rising to the challenge of our national project to help Syrian refugees in transition to their new lives in Canada.”

CCI Executive Director Carl Nicholson expressed delight and gratitude.  “Finding and keeping a home is major step in the settlement process for newcomers – one that contributes to a sense of security and belonging. This generosity will help us implement programs to better serve the distinct needs of particularly vulnerable refugee families as they start their new lives in our community.”