Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of December 4, 2006
Immigrants offered one-stop service
CSS, Edmonton Rotary join forces to creat a welcoming facility
By RAMON GONZALEZ
Some time ago, CSS purchased a three-storey apartment complex for $1.5 million near 107th Avenue and 101st Street to establish the centre. It will cost another $1.7 million to renovate and furnish the facility.
The Rotary Club will contribute $400,000 over two years for the renovations. The rest of the funding will come from Catholic Charities, which has already pledged $100,000, the Sign of Hope Campaign, corporate donations and possibly the Edmonton Housing Trust Fund.
While the Rotary Club has volunteered to help in some aspects of the project such as demolition and painting, the rest of the work will be contracted out. Work may start in early January or February.
Barylo said the centre would not have happened without the downtown Rotary Club. "We are very pleased with the capital funding they put forward and, secondly, I'm very pleased that they are going to assist us in raising more capital dollars so that we can provide the appropriate furnishing and architectural finishing touches to the facility," he said.
Services in the Rotary Centre will primarily be available to Edmonton refugees and immigrants. Some 6,000 new immigrants arrived in the city in 2005.
"The nice thing about it," Barylo said, "is that you are going to have a seamless service for those immigrants and refugees that are wondering where do they go for help or for businesses who want to know where they can go if they got a staff member who just arrived from the Philippines, for example, and has a language problem or is having trouble adjusting and needs some counselling."
Russ Mann, spokesperson for the Rotary Club, said one reason the club got involved in the project is its "strong humanitarian side." Since the turn of the millennium, Edmonton Rotarians have helped build a 46-suite apartment building for hard-to house people in the Boyle Street area and have assisted projects of the Lurana Women's Shelter and the Bissell Centre.
Rotarians also got involved with the centre because of the business opportunity the project offers, Mann said.
"The federal government and certainly employers in Alberta today are crying for new Canadians to be able to help them in their industry and in their businesses," he said.
Volunteer Rotarians will provide mentorship support for those who want to start up their own business.
"We have members that are very good at that and they have said that they are willing to help train and mentor and be coaches to our new Canadians in our community."
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