Supporting refugee settlement in Vancouver #VanWelcomesRefugees

Supporting refugee settlement in Vancouver

Vancouver has a proud history of welcoming refugees and helping them start new lives with hope, security and freedom in Canada.

The City of Vancouver has several strategies and community alliances to help support refugees coming to Vancouver and will continue to support efforts to give a warm welcome to our city’s newcomers.

Vancouver Welcomes Refugees Forum – April 21, 2016, 6:00pm to 9:00pm

The April 21, 2016 forum is sponsored by the City of Vancouver, Vancouver Foundation, Vancity, Vancouver Coastal Health, and United Way Lower Mainland

Together with our partners, we hosted the Vancouver Welcomes Refugees Forum on April 21 at the SFU Wosk Centre for Dialogue.

The purpose of the forum was to raise awareness about refugees globally and locally, and to engage partners in increasing and sustaining the support for refugees arriving in Vancouver.

The program included invited speakers and panelists from various refugee supporting organizations, individuals with lived experience, academics, business, and government participants.


September 8, 2015 public forum

As mayors across the country mobilized to support the humanitarian crisis facing Syria, Mayor Gregor Robertson invited the public and key stakeholders to a public forum at City Hall on September 8, 2015.

The Mayor was joined by Chris Friesen, director, Settlement Services, Immigrant Services Society of BC, and Eyob Naizghi, executive director of MOSAIC.

Speakers shared their knowledge of settlement services and provided valuable information to members of the public, many of whom wish to help but are still unclear as to what are the various actions they and the wider community can take to help address the crisis and assist those in need.

The event was attended by several hundred concerned residents who wanted to learn more about how our community can do its part to help.

How you can help refugees build new lives here

Immigrant Services Society of BC (ISS of BC)  suggests the following ways you can help refugees today that are most in need as the global refugee crisis develops.

  1. Donate to charities and humanitarian organizations.
  2. Donate to and volunteer for local immigrant and refugee organizations.
  3. Sponsor a refugee. Contact an experienced sponsorship agreement-holder for advice. Offer your support to them.

Read the fact sheet PDF file (400 KB)

We also encourage you to consider providing housing and employment offers for refugees, as well as volunteering as a settlement host.

To show your support, print your own #VanWelcomesRefugees poster.

Donate to the VanCity Humanitarian Fund

The Vancity Humanitarian Fund External website supports Syrian refugees settling in Vancouver.

The fund was boosted on December 18, 2015, by personal donations from Mayor Gregor Robertson and Vancity CEO Tamara Vrooman.

The Mayor and Vancity are challenging other Lower Mainland mayors and business leaders across BC to do their part.

Donate to the fund

How we support refugees

We're working with Immigrant Services Society of BC (ISS of BC) External website and other key supporters to make preparations to help Syrian refugees settle in Metro Vancouver.

We've contributed $4.1 million in land and grants for the construction of an innovative, new Vancouver Welcome House for refugees. We supplied the land valued at an estimated $3.4 million, $310,000, and a reduction in levies estimated at $670,000.

We also also provide grants to refugee and immigrant settlement non-profit organizations.

Our civic facilities, including libraries and community centres, are important venues for newcomers’ sense of belonging.

Related initiatives

Vancouver Immigration Partnership

Learn how we are working with diverse community sectors and organizations to support and integrate newcomers into local communities.

Healthy City Strategy

The Healthy City Strategy a long-term, integrated plan for healthier people, places, and planet.

Housing Vancouver strategy

Learn how our 10-year strategy provides a strong foundation for the future in Vancouver.