Immigrant Centre Manitoba has been serving Manitoba’s newcomer community since 1948. Back then we were known as the Citizenship Council of Manitoba. In 1969 we changed our name to become the International Centre and expanded our services. Fast forward 40 years later to 2009, we changed our name from the International Centre to the Immigrant Centre Manitoba Inc. and moved into our current location in a restored textile factory on Adelaide St. in the Exchange District.
Our services have changed and expanded over the years to meet the changing needs of newcomers in our community. Last fiscal year we served over 18,600 clients through eight of our departments, which includes: Pre-Arrival Centre, Intake and Referrals, Settlement Services, Employment Services, Access English Centre, Language Bank, Nutrition Services, Volunteers Services and we host the Neighbourhood Immigrant Settlement Worker Coordinator. We also partner with many other settlement agencies and mainstream organizations to increase our capacity to serve our community and to ensure that the needs of our clients are met.
Recently we started the Newcomer Employment Pilot Project to provide employment services to newcomer refugees with low levels of English. In the program we have three Employment Facilitators who provide services in the clients’ first language and we have an Employer Liaison who works with employers to hire and retain newcomers with low levels of English. Since the program’s start in February of this year, it has had a very high success rate of clients finding employment.
At the Immigrant Centre we pride ourselves on our ability to serve all newcomers who come through our doors. To do so we have made sure that we have diverse funding which ensures that all newcomers, no matter their immigration status, can be provided with services in almost all of our departments. We even have a Settlement Facilitator that can provide settlement support to non-permanent residents.
“The better the start, the better the future” is our moto at the Immigrant Centre. By helping newcomers prior to arriving in Manitoba and supporting them once they do arrive, we ensure that they have the tools to successfully settle and integrate into our community.
Some photos showing Immigrant Centre staff at work together with their clients: