Starting out in a new city may be hard and frightening. You may not know where to start or the type of services that are available. You can get information about your community, jobs, language training and much more from Settlement Agencies.
Some of the main Settlement Agencies in the Lower Mainland are:
CHIMO serves offers crisis, transition and education programs.
The crisis program includes: crisis lines, Nova House and Crisis Counseling, which serves people in immediate need.
The transition program involve: counseling, outreach and advocacy and settlement services in order to ensure that people are able establish better lives in their new country.
The education program consists of community engagement which stresses on positive influences on views and behaviours.
DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society assists immigrant in their integration into their new community by offering: family services, settlement and community programs, language programs, career services, interpretation and translation services and skills training.
Immigrant Services Society of BC (ISSofBC) provides support services, such as: career, settlement and language courses to help immigrants and refugees get settled, find careers and learn everything they need to know about starting new lives in Canada.
The Immigrant Welcome Centre provides education and professional services to people in vulnerable population and settlement services, in order to establish welcoming and inclusive communities.
MOSAIC supports and empowers immigrant and refugee communities by addressing issues in their neighbourhoods and workplaces, through their multilingual services. MOSAIC’s programs and services are constantly evolving and developing in response to the needs of the community.
Little Mountain Neighbourhood House Society provides educational, cultural, recreational and social services to help people actively participate in the development of a healthier community.
S.U.C.C.E.S.S. provides a variety of services that include: settlement, community, housing and employment which create a world of multicultural harmony.
For more information about other settlement agencies and their locations or where to go for help in BC visit Chapter 1 in your Newcomer’s Guide Book.
Renting a Place
In most cases, when you arrive to Vancouver you will already have a place to stay. Most refugees live with relatives or you will have had your sponsor secure a place for you to live, before arriving.
There are many types of housing available in Vancouver that range from quaint sizes to spacious areas and from renting to owning a place of your own.
A landlord cannot refuse to rent a place to people because of their race, skin colour, age, birthplace, religion, sex, marital status, sexual orientation and physical and mental disability, as this discrimination is against the law. A landlord cannot refuse to rent to people because they have children, unless it is an “adult only” building. A landlord can refuse to rent to pet owners and people who smoke.
A landlord may ask you for references that can back up that you would make a good tenant.