Halifax receives $200,000 from Welcome Fund for Syrian Refugees

HALIFAX, March 15, 2016Community Foundations of Canada (CFC) is pleased to announce a $200,000 contribution from the Welcome Fund for Syrian Refugees (Welcome Fund) to a partnership between the ISANS and the Community Foundation of Nova Scotia. The Welcome Fund was seeded by Manulife, and quickly augmented by CN’s historic $5 million donation, as well as by generous support from GM and community organizations.

Established to respond to an urgent gap in accessible and affordable housing, the Welcome Fund provides an important investment in community-driven solutions to support the successful settlement of families recently arrived from Syria and help them transition into suitable permanent housing.

ISANS is the lead organization supporting government-assisted refugees settling in Nova Scotia, offering services and creating opportunities to help immigrants participate fully in Canadian life. The Welcome Fund contribution will provide direct support to Syrian households settling in the Halifax area, focusing on key priorities including households with family members who have medical conditions that require them to live near healthcare facilities, and larger families requiring large units.

“The Community Foundations of Canada’s announcement today is heartwarming news, and the generous funds going to the Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia will help refugees settle, integrate and thrive in Halifax,” said Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, John McCallum. “I applaud the generosity of everyone who helped make this possible.”

“This generous contribution will help Syrian families make a fresh start and a new home in Halifax where we have been pleased to welcome them with open arms,” said Halifax Mayor Mike Savage. “I want to thank CN for continuing its long history of investment in Canadian communities.”

“Nova Scotians have opened their hearts and their homes to the more than 1,000 Syrian refugees who have arrived in the province in the last few months. As we move into the next phase of settling families, some, especially the larger families, face challenges and financial pressures. We are therefore delighted that the Welcome Fund, made available by Canadian businesses through the Community Foundation of Nova Scotia, will provide the additional support that people need to move into and settle in their new homes and communities,” said Gerry Mills, Director of Operations, ISANS.

“The Community Foundation of Nova Scotia is pleased to facilitate CN and Manulife’s investment in the Welcome Fund here in Nova Scotia. In partnership with CFC, this corporate contribution will have a significant impact on the Syrian families that ISANS supports locally,” said Angela Bishop, ‎Executive Director, Community Foundation of Nova Scotia.

“Shifting refugees from temporary to more permanent homes is the first step in helping people and families to settle into their new lives in Canada,” said Andrew Chunilall, Chief Operating Officer at Community Foundations of Canada. “We thank CN, Manulife and other participating partners for their support, and invite other organizations to step forward to assist with our continued rollout of the Welcome Fund across the country.”

“Since the days of Pier 21 in Halifax, CN has always been there to help welcome and settle new Canadians across this great country,” said Robert Pace, chairman of the board of directors of CN. “I’m proud that CN is assisting Syrian refugees with their transition to a better life, filled with the same dreams for their families and children that all Canadians share. We believe in building stronger communities for all Canadians and hope our $5 million donation to the Welcome Fund will encourage others to join in support of the refugees who are arriving in cities like Halifax.”

“The arrival of 25,000 Syrian refugees in Canada is only one step among many for these new Canadians as they begin the next phase of their lives,” said Marianne Harrison, President and Chief Executive Officer, Manulife Canada. “The Welcome Fund was established to provide housing and job preparedness, which would not happen without the leadership of these great local Halifax organizations.”

About Community Foundations of Canada

Community Foundations of Canada is the national network for Canada’s 191 community foundations which help Canadians invest in building strong and resilient places to live, work, and play. Community foundations contribute time, leadership and financial support to initiatives that benefit community most, directing grants and other investments towards everything from shelter, education, and care for those in need, to the arts, environment and recreation. To learn more visit www.communityfoundations.ca.

To learn more about partnership opportunities related to the Welcome Fund, please contact JP Bervoets, Vice President, Partnerships and Public Engagement, at jbervoets@communityfoundations.ca.