Finding Shelter in Canada: Forum on Housing and Homelessness among Refugee Claimants and Refugees Landed in Canada Dec. 10th

Dec. 10th – Finding Shelter in Canada: Forum on Housing and Homelessness among Refugee Claimants and Refugees Landed in Canada

As part of a Homelessness Action Week initiative spearheaded by the City of Vancouver, Inland Refugee Society of BC is coordinating an event aimed at better understanding current housing procedures for Refugee Claimants and Refugees Landed in Canada.

We are hosting a one-day forum for service providers, policy makers, government officials, academics, and refugees to discuss current housing policies and procedures in place through guided activities and conversation. As a group we will critically examine the struggles that refugee claimants face during their application and settlement and propose solutions for going forward. (A light breakfast and lunch will be served and bus tickets will be available to refugees who attend).

Prior to this forum we will be hosting two guided discussion groups for refugee claimants and refugees landed in Canada. Both of these events will allow Inland Refugee Society of BC to gather data concerning the housing situation of refugee claimants. These discussion groups will be occurring on Nov. 17th and 20th. Refugees who attend these discussion groups will receive a gift certificate for their participation. Additional information will be posted soon. Please get in contact if you are a Refugee Claimant of Refugee Landed in Canada and would like to participate.

A report will be published following each of the events with the assistance of the University of British Columbia.

Forum on Housing and Homelessness among Refugee Claimants and Refugees Landed in Canada
Thursday, 10 December 2015 from 9:00 AM to 2:30 PM (PST)
Library Square Conference Centre @ Vancouver Public Library – Alma VanDusen Room. 350 West Georgia St. Vancouver, BC V6B 6B1 CA

Homelessness Action Week is organized by the Greater Vancouver Regional Steering Committee on Homelessness. The purpose of this week is to raise public awareness on the issues of homelessness, and rally local solutions to the issues.

Refugee claimants who have just arrived in Canada are often at risk of becoming homeless. Mayor Gregor Robertson of the City of Vancouver was quoted in a news release put out by BC Housing in 2014 that “Refugee claimants are among the highest population at-risk of homelessness in our city.”
Contact us by email at if you have any questions.

Eventbrite - Forum on Housing and Homelessness among Refugee Claimants and Refugees Landed in Canada

New Computer Donations to Improve Refugee Services from Free Geek

Inland Refugee Society of BC has gratefully received a much-needed addition to our team: two new refurbished computers, courtesy of FreeGeek.

The new computers will help improve the services we provide for our clients without taking away from what limited resources we have, and will also serve as a useful aid as our clients adapt to life in Vancouver.  The computers will be used for various needs, such as making resumes, searching for a house, looking up services and directions in the city, emailing, doing paperwork, and more.

Through the computers, we would be able to help refugee claimants help themselves, as we teach them to navigate Canadian services online, and offer a safe space for refugee claimants to utilize this resource.

For refugee claimants, the value of having access to technology and information cannot be ignored.  According to UNHCR, communications technologies, which includes computers and mobile devices, provides refugees access to learning and employment opportunities.  This provides a sense of normalcy to their lives and allows them to participate in local markets and the global economy.

And so we would like to use this space to thank FreeGeek for their generous donation and continuous service to the community.

FreeGeek is a nonprofit organization that reuses and recycles donated technology and gives it back to the community to reduce waste and support sustainability.  As new donations go through their door, they take apart the electronics pieces for recycling, or refurbish the computers or electronics for reuse.  Through their thrift store, free tech support nights and training programs, they seek to empower people by providing access to technology and facilitating people’s knowledge and self-sufficiency in handling electronics and computer technology.

For more information, visit

World Refugee Day 2015

On June 20th, we joined many partner organizations (Settlement Services Society, Rainbow Refugee Society, Citizenship and Immigration, Kinbrace Housing and Support, the Red Cross, Immigrant Services Society of BC and many others) for World Refugee Day and it was a great success!

The event was graciously held in the Vancouver Public Library Atrium, and visited by many interested Canadians and refugees.

Deputy Mayor, Andrea Reimer did a reading of the city’s proclamation for World Refugee Day, and many heartfelt stories were shared.

The day also included the launching of the completely revised Refugee Hearing Preparation: A Guide for Refugee Claimants (RHP Guide) put together by Kinbrace Housing and Support.

Bake sale to support refugee claimants a success!

On May 6th, in collaboration with St.Giles International English school we held our first bake sale. We sold a lot of baked goods and we were humbled by the generous support. The donations raised were used to provide safe housing and food for refugee claimants in Metro Vancouver. Thank you to all of those who donated and to our contributors who made this small, yet successful fundraiser possible.

World Refugee Day Celebration 2015

There are currently over 42 million forcibly displaced persons looking for safety in the world and in 2014 an estimated 866,000 asylum application were registered worldwide according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Canada received 13,450 asylum claims in 2014 of people coming to our border looking to find safety from war and persecution.

As part of the global celebration of World Refugee Day, Settlement Orientation Services (SOS) in partnership with the Immigrant Services Society of BC (ISSofBC) and the Vancouver Public Library (VPL) are hosting a free family event on June 20, 2015 at the VPL Main Branch. On this day, we will celebrate the resilience, strength and courage of refugees, bringing together the varied and vibrant cultures within our community, and recognize their contribution to the Canadian society.

Join us for a fun filled family event with face painting, arts and crafts activities for children of all ages and live music by refugee musicians. The day’s program will feature personal stories from refugee youth and the official proclamation of World Refugee Day by Deputy Mayor Andrea Reimer. Visitors will also have an opportunity to meet service provider organizations, hear about their experiences and learn about services that exist in Vancouver to support refugees and refugee claimants. Refugees will share stories about their journeys that led them to BC and their experiences throughout the refugee determination process in Canada.

Join us and be part of the conversation!

Event Details:
The World Refugee Day event takes place on June 20, 2015 from 11am to 3pm at the Vancouver Public Library, 350 West Georgia Street, Vancouver. Admission is free.


Event Program:
11:00 – 15:00                       Refugee Services Info Fair
11:00 – 15:00                       Kids activities and live music
12:00                                    Proclamation of World Refugee Day