Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of October 22, 2007
Sign of hope to fund residence for refugees
Annual CSS campaign aims to raise $2.12M
"By supporting our campaign you will join us in helping more than 60,000 others in need for whom the economic boom has been a social bust."
By RAMON GONZALEZ
WCR Staff Writer
Catholic Social Services is looking for $2.12 million this year, partly to support its soon-to-open Rotary Centre for New Canadians in central Edmonton.
The agency's 24th annual Sign of Hope Campaign runs from Oct. 18 to mid-December. Joan Carr, superintendent of Edmonton Catholic Schools, will lead the campaign drive.
The Rotary Centre for New Canadians, a three-storey apartment building which is currently being renovated and may be ready for occupancy by mid-December or early January, will provide emergency housing for up to 48 recently arrived government-sponsored refugees who have fled persecution in their homeland, said CSS spokesperson Mark Barylo.
It will also provide transitional housing for 18 immigrants and migrants with special needs.
Services on site
On-site services at the building will include counselling, orientation, mentorship, language training, job training in the health care field, intercultural education services, child minding services, professional counselling and settlement services and basic living skills for newcomers such as how to use an oven, shop for groceries or take a bus.
Services and programs for immigrant youth will also be available. About 16 staff will work at the centre at any one time.
Because of the variety of services it will offer on one site, the Rotary Centre for New Canadians will be the first of its type in Western Canada, Barylo said.
Over a year ago Catholic Charities purchased an 18,000 square foot apartment complex in central Edmonton for $1.5 million to establish the centre. It may cost another $1.7 million to renovate and furnish the facility. But, according to Barylo, several contractors are doing their job at cost to reduce expenses.
He said the centre might also receive up to $150,000 from the Sign of Hope Campaign to cover both capital and operating costs. Other sources of capital funding include the Edmonton Downtown Rotary Club, the Edmonton Housing Trust Fund and the No Room Inn Society, which is sponsoring five suites.
In addition to providing funding for the Rotary Centre, the Sign of Hope Campaign also supports programs such as Kairos House for persons living with HIV/AIDS, Safe House for street youth, counselling services for families and support programs for abused seniors.
CSS programs - more than 100 in all - serve an average of 60,000 people each year who have been left out by Alberta's economic boom.
"By supporting our campaign you will join us in helping more than 60,000 others in need for whom the economic boom has been a social bust," Barylo said.