Terms of Reference
The first year of living in a new country for refugees is a critical one. It usually determines their levels of success for the rest of their lives. If they find effective services and a safe and caring environment, outcomes for economic and social attachments will start out well, and will increase from there. If they experience poverty, hunger, isolation and social rejection, they will likely be re-traumatized and it will become increasingly difficult to truly flourish as members of our communities.
This is not a permanent housing model, it is a model that helps vulnerable refugees get the best start possible as they re-weave their story into the Canadian fabric. It is an “independence-making” program.
The Oak Bay Refugee Welcome Houses were designed to help refugees find the services they need in the critical early year. We spend a great deal of time meeting and getting to understand residents' needs and then help them with a wealth of programs, supports and connections to kind people who will help them develop a new supportive community network. We are deeply proud that the District of Oak Bay and dozens of Oak Bay residents have stepped forward to participate in this truly noble program.
This project represents a partnership between the District of Oak Bay and the Victoria Immigrant & Refugee Centre Society, which is a non-profit settlement agency. Check out the VIRCS website to learn more about our other programs.
To facilitate the integration of refugees into the Oak Bay community and provide a warm, welcoming shelter that also fosters independence.
A community which all have the confidence and the support network to realize their goals.