Immigration: NIC of the North
The National Capital Region YMCA-YWCA officially opened the doors to Ottawa’s first Newcomer Information Centre in October 2007. Located at 240 Catherine Street, Suite 207, it is the only centre of its kind outside of Toronto. The Newcomer Information Centre (NIC) features a comprehensive library of printed and electronic resources, a computer resource centre, workshop series and onsite settlement specialists from the community.
“The Y has a long tradition of assisting newcomers to our Ottawa communities and complements our larger mission and vision as a charitable organization,” said Tony Pacheco, National Capital Region YMCA-YWCA President and CEO. “Welcoming newcomers in a caring and respectful manner, we will help them find the information they need to begin to make connections and establish roots that will lead to new lives, strong families and vibrant Ottawa communities.”
The National Capital Region YMCA-YWCA is a charitable association dedicated to improving the quality of life for children, youth, adults and families through programs that build Spirit, Mind and Body. The NCR Y provides opportunities for personal growth and character development by providing unique and contemporary programs for everyone regardless of race, religion, creed, ability or economic circumstance.
The Newcomer Information Centre is a first stop, full service gateway to the Immigrant serving organizations with free information aimed at assisting newcomers to settle into the Ottawa Region.
“There are many newcomers to Ottawa who don’t know where to go to get support or find information,” said Cathy Turnbull, Vice President of Employment, Enterprise and Newcomer Services at the YMCA-YWCA.“We are here to assist with that process and to work with the immigrant serving organizations to meet the needs of newcomers and ensure people are referred to where they need to go.”
Offering a unique and innovative model of service delivery, a team of ten multilingual staff will provide information and referral services to newcomers to Canada on a variety of topics including employment services, language training and community resources. The Newcomer Information Centre will also house workers from nine local settlement agencies who will work onsite to provide settlement support.
Some of the settlement organizations that clients are referred to include the Lebanese and Arab Social Services Agency, Catholic Immigration Centre, Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization, Jewish Family Services of Ottawa- Carleton, Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre, Somali Centre for Family Services, LASI (World Skills) and Conseil Economique & Social d’Ottawa-Carleton (CESOC).
The Newcomer Information Centre is funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, and will receive $2.2 million in funding between 2007 and 2010.