Surrey programs aims to steer immigrants and refugees away from needing city charities

Published: January 29, 2013

LARISSA CAHUTE
VANCOUVER DESI

Surrey Food Bank Executive Director Marilyn Herrmann

Executive Director Marilyn Herrmann (left) chats with volunteer Tony Fogarty at the Surrey Food Bank in Surrey Dec. 5, 2012. The City of Surrey, along with a number of local organizations, have announced a plan to create a more welcoming environment for immigrants and newcomers to the community. Ric Ernst/PNG files

The City of Surrey announced a new action plan Monday aimed at keeping new immigrants and refugees away from needing charitable services like the food bank.

According to Surrey Food Bank’s executive director, Marilyn Herrmann, of the near 14,000 visits each month, immigrants account for eight per cent.

“It’s particularly challenging for new immigrants when they come,” Herrmann told Vancouver Desi on Tuesday. “Part of the challenge they’re faced with — not only language, but recognition of the certification of their education and job skills.”

So the City of Surrey, along with a number of local organizations, crafted the plan to create a more welcoming environment in order to get newcomers better established and connected to the community.

The province has provided $667,000 towards the initiative — part of the Welcoming Communities Program — for the next two years.

“Many (immigrants) living here and coming here for the first time, they’re having to get their lives off the ground often with little economic support,” said Judy Villeneuve, who chairs Surrey’s social planning advisory committee. “They’re trying to make ends meet by the end of the month, so they’re not utilizing services like the food bank.

“And some of them do.”

The program works with a number of organizations, like the YMCA, RCMP, Alexander Neighbourhood House, Kwantlen Polytechnic University and many others.

“Any time people settle in a new neighbourhood, often they’re not aware of services,” said Villeneuve.

And while she admits many immigrants are attracted to Surrey because it’s a bit more affordable than Vancouver, costs invariably add up, like with having to take transit.

“It’s sort of a vicious circle for people trying to make ends meet on really little money,” said Villeneuve.

The city also wants to develop this plan because the funding will soon move from the provincial to federal government level.

“So I think the province is doing what it can do to work with cities that have a larger number of settlement services and refugees to try and get something off the ground this year,” said Villeneuve. “We really just want to be as well prepared as we can when that change occurs . . . so when money is distributed, hopefully from the federal government we know it will be placed in the right spot.”

“We have a fast-growing city taking in almost a thousand people a month and we just want to make sure that everybody has an opportunity to succeed here.”
Herrmann said she applauds the city “for acknolwedging that this is a group that definelty does need help.”

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,





Featured

india flag2

Sporting fans disappointed as Indian flag depicted upside down in Commonwealth Games promotional video

VANCOUVER DESI India is already making headlines as the Commonwealth Games officially kick off in Glasgow – but not for sporting-related reasons. In an official…
Continue Reading »

CABS1

Heaving, hurling taxi patrons will now be charged a $75 cleanup fine

THE CANADIAN PRESS If you’re feeling queasy, step away from the cab. That’s the advice from taxi drivers across British Columbia after the province’s Passenger…
Continue Reading »

INDIA_RAPE_PROTEST_217126232

Angry villagers mob alleged suspects after another girl found hanging from tree in India

KOUSHIK DUTTA HINDUSTAN TIMES A 7-year-old girl was found raped, murdered and hanging from a tree in West Bengal on Thursday, resurfacing horrific memories from…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

CABS1

Heaving, hurling taxi patrons will now be charged a $75 cleanup fine

THE CANADIAN PRESS If you’re feeling queasy, step away from the cab. That’s the advice from taxi drivers across British Columbia after the province’s Passenger…
Continue Reading »

Homicide investigators are on scene at a stabbing in Surrey.

Homicide investigators on scene of stabbing in Surrey

VANCOUVER DESI A man is dead following an early morning stabbing in Surrey. Surrey RCMP were called to the 10600-block 135A Street in Whalley shortly…
Continue Reading »

Vancouver restaurateur Vikram Vij poses with Barinder Rasode at his new South Surrey restaurant My Shanti at an event Thursday night. Submitted photo.

Will Vikram Vij’s ‘support’ be enough to push Barinder Rasode into Surrey mayoralty ring?

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI Still yet to officially announce a bid for mayor this fall, Surrey city councillor Barinder Rasode had an endorsement party of…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

child abuse

Indian kidnappers agree to handover boy to parents on condition of swapping him for his sister

CEN AGENCY In a bizarre demand, parents of an Indian boy who has been kidnapped, were told that they could have youngster back if they…
Continue Reading »

232-teeth tumour gum

Indian teen boy gets 232 teeth removed from “very rare” tumour in his jaw

VANCOUVER DESI A 17-year-old boy in India underwent a seven-hour long operation on Monday to have a whopping 232 teeth removed from a “very rare”…
Continue Reading »

basketball

Indian minister criticizes ‘no-headgear’ rule after Sikh basketball players told to remove turbans during Asia Cup

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS NEW DELHI — India’s sports minister has criticized the ‘no-headgear’ rule of basketball’s world body FIBA after two Sikh players on the…
Continue Reading »

Greece

Tipsy British tourist asked to leave church after mistaking it for a disco

CEN AGENCY A tipsy British tourist had to be asked to leave a church in Crete where he started dancing after local kids told him…
Continue Reading »

Surrey-weight lifter-Commonwealth Games-Glasgow

Surrey weightlifter Parm Phangura bound for Commonwealth Games

MICHAEL BOOTH SURREY NOW FLEETWOOD — 163+205=368. That stark equation scrawled in the top corner of a chalkboard means little to a casual observer, but…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Priyanka Chopra

Priyanka Chopra fought with professional boxers while shooting Mary Kom

IANS Mumbai  – Actress Priyanka Chopra fought with real boxers in Mary Kom, a biopic on the five time World Champion boxer. She says it…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Akshay Kumar to host dance reality show Dare 2 Dance

IANS Gurgaon  – Bollywood action hero Akshay Kumar, who has played host of TV adventure reality series Fear Factor: Khatron Ke Khiladi in the past,…
Continue Reading »

INDIA-ARTS-CINEMA-BOLLYWOOD

What stunt scared Jacqueline Fernandez the most while filming Kick?

IANS Mumbai — Superstar Salman Khan has done a lot of action and stunts in Kick and the film’s leading lady Jacqueline Fernandez says that…
Continue Reading »