Settling in Niagara
We recognize that settling into your new life in Niagara may be difficult. Government and community agencies will help you to make the transition to life here as easy as possible by helping you with employment, education and training, government services, citizenship and other important needs.
Settlement.Org is a website sponsored by the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI) and is funded by the federal agency, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, and the provincial Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration. OCASI acts as a collective voice for immigrant serving agencies and coordinates responses to common needs.
The Settlement.org website has a section called Your First Days in Ontario that has important information for your first two weeks in Ontario. This information is available in 24 different languages and can be downloaded to your home computer.
211- Information Niagara is an agency providing assessment, information, referral and advocacy for all people in Niagara. It will help you with immediate needs for settling in Niagara or with integration into Canadian society. It also offers interpretive services if you require help with the translation of information. 211 – Information Niagara is one of Niagara’s best sources for all kinds of information. If they don’t have the answer, they’ll know where to get it.
Niagara has many community agencies that will help you to find information once you arrive. The Useful Resources section below has links to some of the community agencies that are experienced with assisting newcomers.
The Niagara Local Immigrant Partnership Council has created a Settlement Strategy in collaboration with community partners to better settle and retain our immigrant population. A copy of this strategy can be found at the following link: http://www.niec.ca/resources-links/settlement-services.htm
Folk Arts Council of St. Catharines will provide you with free assistance, support and information as well as settlement services including community liaison, counselling, interpretation/translation, immigration related documents, orientation, housing, public education and advocacy. They also provide English as a Second Language instruction, Host Program (matching newcomers with Canadian host families), community development and employment services. They also organize the annual Niagara Folk Arts Festival and operate the rental of an historic banquet hall.
Fort Erie Multicultural Centre will help you as a newcomer living in or in transition in Fort Erie. The Centre’s programs include: reception and welcome centre at the Peace Bridge; Host Program; Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC Levels 1-6); English as a Second Language (ESL) classes; citizenship classes; computer training; settlement services; employment facilitation services; diversity training; youth programs; Enhanced Language Training (ELT) for internationally trained professionals; individual counselling and action plan development; mentoring; networking; resume and interview preparation.
Welland Heritage Council and Multicultural Centre can provide you with information and referrals to community and government programs and services to help meet your settlement needs; employment related resources including access to professions and trades; group sessions on settlement-related topics; information on credential assessment; housing and shelter information, health services, legal issues and human rights; access to fax, photocopier, computers and internet; and access to professional, multilingual staff. The Centre offers English-as-a-Second Language Classes, Enhanced Language Training for higher level students, and Cultural Language Classes. Child minding is provided for qualified students. The Centre also houses an emergency shelter for refugees as they enter Canada.