Helping newcomer-serving organizations expand capacity, reach and impact.

Better Beginnings, Bigger Impact, funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, is aimed at helping organizations serving newcomers, who are considered to be immigrants or refugees.

This unique initiative was created to help 10 organizations expand their capacity and reach to deliver real change in the lives of Canadian newcomers. LIFT sought organizations helping individuals overcome barriers specific to the newcomer experience, integrating newcomers into Canadian life, and supporting individuals to build a cohesive and diverse society. Core service areas include language skills, employment assistance, community connections and needs assessments for smooth integration. 

The 10 selected newcomer organizations are: 

  1. Association for New Canadians, St. John’s: provides wrap-around services, including settlement information and orientation, language learning, skills development and employment counselling to Canadian newcomers.
  2. Furniture Bank, Toronto: facilitates the soliciting, transporting, storing and distributing of furniture to people in need; helping to contribute to Canadian newcomers’ sense of belonging.
  3. Global Gathering Place, Saskatoon: drop-in centre offering English language training, life skills, settlement advice, individual client support, mental health counselling, and a variety of supplemental programs for immigrants and refugees.
  4. Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba, Winnipeg: offers safe and secure affordable housing to newcomer families, complemented by holistic, wrap-around settlement service for the whole family, including after-school programs, financial planning and ESL training.
  5. Immigrant Employment Council of British Columbia, Vancouver: provides B.C. employers with the solutions, tools and resources they need to attract, hire and retain qualified immigrant talent.
  6. Immigrants Working Centre, Hamilton: offers orientation and settlement assistance, English language training, employment services, and community networking and volunteer opportunities.
  7. Mennonite New Life Centre of Toronto: provides community employment counselling, language instruction, community mental health counselling and networking opportunities.
  8. New Brunswick Multicultural Council, Fredericton: is a bilingual, umbrella organization committed to supporting immigrant-serving agencies, and multicultural and ethno-cultural associations in New Brunswick through advocating and promoting the economic, social and cultural value in diversity.
  9. WIL Employment Connections, London: works directly with employers and job-seekers to provide employment support and career development including assessment, counselling and preparation, assistance with licensure for internationally trained professionals, and volunteer placements.
  10. Windmill Microlending (formerly known as Immigrant Access Fund), Calgary (head office): provides microloans of up to $10,000 to internationally trained immigrants so they can obtain the Canadian licensing or training required to work in their field in Canada.

The 10 organizations represent a special portfolio of service providers that have demonstrated positive impact for newcomers in communities across Canada and, importantly, want to do more. Starting January 2019, LIFT will work with each selected SPO over the course of 27 months to expand its reach and grow its impact to deliver real change in the lives of newcomers to Canada.

Ten Canadian immigrant-serving organizations selected for unique growth initiative

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See eligibility criteria for SPO applicants

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