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Citizenship and Immigration committee  Thank you for the opportunity to address you on post-arrival Syrian refugee needs. My name is Khim Tan, and I represent Options Community Services, which is funded by IRCC to provide settlement services to newcomers residing in Surrey and North Delta. While there are many issu

June 7th, 2016Committee meeting

Khim Tan

Citizenship and Immigration committee  Yes, and thank you for asking that. I safely say that I don't only speak for Options Community Services. I know that across the board many settlement agencies traditionally use volunteers. That's part of the way we provide programming for newcomers, but because of the increased

June 7th, 2016Committee meeting

Khim Tan

Citizenship and Immigration committee  Thank you for asking. We do know that IRCC is trying really hard to increase formal language learning through LINC. We have communicated, and with the short-term Syrian refugee funding pockets, we have been able to increase our conversation circles as best we can. Again, I thin

June 7th, 2016Committee meeting

Khim Tan

Citizenship and Immigration committee  Thank you, Ms. Kwan. I think all you said is true. As an example, when the first group of refugees arrived in Vancouver, many of them were housed in temporary housing in the Vancouver area. Many of the hotels were housing them. It got to a point where, many months after their a

June 7th, 2016Committee meeting

Khim Tan

Citizenship and Immigration committee  I agree. Maybe I should also say that when we move them from temporary housing, i.e., the hotel, to permanent housing, i.e., a basement suite or an apartment, I think in the minds of the refugees and also for ourselves as service providers, they are still temporary accommodations

June 7th, 2016Committee meeting

Khim Tan

Citizenship and Immigration committee  Definitely. With settlement service providers, I have to stress that, of course, we're trying to deal with immediate needs, but again, we do our part to lobby for the national housing strategies, to accommodate a growing number of refugees as well. As you said yourself, many of

June 7th, 2016Committee meeting

Khim Tan

Citizenship and Immigration committee  The answer is yes. I want to say that what we're trying to do immediately is help, because the refugees are aware that one year will go by really fast. We're trying to help them as best we can to budget and to survive on the little they have, because they know that moving forwa

June 7th, 2016Committee meeting

Khim Tan

Citizenship and Immigration committee  Due to the lack of LINC classes, the formal language classes, there's a wait-list across the board. No matter which city you ask about, the wait-list is there. Part of the challenge of placing the Syrian refugees, the women with children, is that not only is there a lack of LINC

June 7th, 2016Committee meeting

Khim Tan

Citizenship and Immigration committee  Some agencies have, but not fast enough to meet the wait-lists.

June 7th, 2016Committee meeting

Khim Tan

Citizenship and Immigration committee  I think there are ways that we can help, and I will mention something again that was mentioned this morning. We think about what kind of language classes are important to tie the language learning with employment possibilities. I think we're also challenged by working with all t

June 7th, 2016Committee meeting

Khim Tan