Sault Ste. Marie received news that it will be welcoming fifty refugees to the community. Though it has not been announced when the refugees arrive, or where they’re coming from, two organizations are taking steps to ensure the families will get the supports they need.
The Sault Community Career Centre and the Thunder Bay Multicultural Centre are getting ready to launch The Government Assisted Program, funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. Karol Rains, executive director of the Sault Community Career Centre, in partnership with Cathy Woodbeck, executive director of the Thunder Bay Multicultural Centre, have both identified the capacity to accept and support government assisted refugees.
“Cathy assisted us years ago to set up Settlement Services in Sault Ste. Marie,” said Karol Rains. It makes sense to continue to partner with the Thunder Bay Multicultural Association to create services for refugees.”
“The Sault Community Career Centre is also supporting the many sponsorship groups who are assisting refugee families coming to Sault Ste. Marie,” Rains continued. “This community has demonstrated how generous and supportive it is, with so many people opening their hearts to people whose homes have been destroyed. Food, shelter, education, training, employment, a welcoming community and a safe place to call home are all things our community can provide.”
The Sault Community Career Centre staff are already planning and preparing their response for when the families first arrive, and what steps they plan to take when those families have been in Canada for an extended period of time.
The Career Centre also delivers Employment Ontario Employment Services to help refugees find sustainable employment once they have settled. “We have several partners in the community that support not only refugees but all newcomers to Sault Ste. Marie. For example, the Local Immigration Partnership continues to be a strong supporter of bringing newcomers to Sault Ste. Marie,” said Rains.
For the past century, Sault Ste. Marie has been recognized for its immigrant and aboriginal population. This cultural diversity has made Sault Ste Marie a distinct and vibrant community, and will continue to drive its resilient and unique spirit in the future.