Team delivering programs to immigrants in suburbs

Min Zeng, Shereen Mir and Liliana Chethuen have the challenging task ofspotting newcomers in expansive York Region and helping them connect totheir new home in Canada.

Min Zeng, Shereen Mir and Liliana Chethuen have the challenging task of spotting newcomers in expansive York Region and helping them connect to their new home in Canada.

The outreach workers are part of a recently created mobile immigrant settlement team — a new way of delivering services and programs in the suburbs.

They attend community events in the 1,776-square-kilometre region, which spreads from Lake Simcoe to Steeles Avenue, looking for pockets of isolated newcomers. Then, they link them with services and programs that will help them get settled, find a job or improve their English.

Immigrants in York Region, Greater Toronto’s fastest growing region, account for 43 per cent of its one million residents.

“When we first thought about this program, two things became glaringly clear to us. One, some newcomers are overwhelmed by all the information out there and don’t know what’s appropriate for them,” said Judy Davidson, newcomer services and program director at Job Skills, the agency that runs the Immigration Canada-funded outreach.

“Others simply don’t know where to start. They are in limbo, wandering out there and lost. Our goal is to break the barrier down by being their first point of contact.”

Since they began in September, multilingual outreach workers with the Immigrant Information Services program have attended hundreds of community events.

The outreach team welcomes invitations to events in the region. For more, call 1-888-469-8878 or visit http://immigrantinfo.ca.

 
 
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