MONTREAL, Nov. 20, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - As Montreal prepares to welcome thousands of Syrian refugees, Centraide of Greater Montreal, in collaboration with its network of agencies, wants to make known that it is deeply and actively involved in this huge undertaking.
Centraide participated in the first meeting of the Syria Solidarity committee, chaired by Mayor Denis Coderre. Centraide plans to play a pivotal role in coordinating the vast network of agencies that it supports, a network that helps people affected by poverty and social exclusion. No less than 71 of the agencies in Centraide's network have the expertise to provide support on a daily basis to refugees and immigrants in Montreal. Eight of these agencies have the specific expertise to offer front-line services to newcomers. Their work is well underway and for the past several months they have been providing collectively sponsored Syrian refugees with guidance and support in their efforts to integrate successfully, which is a crucial step in recovering and building a life for yourself.
The agencies in Centraide's network that will play a major role in the coming weeks notably include the YMCA, which is present in various neighbourhoods and will provide refugees with guidance and support as well as offering them temporary accommodation, and the Centre social d'aide aux immigrants (CSAI), the only agency in Greater Montreal with the mandate to receive and settle government-assisted refugees.
Throughout the coming months, all of the some 350 agencies that Centraide funds will also be called upon to participate in this effort, whether they work in the area of food security, or with children and families, or in the field of housing.
In view of the exceptional workload involved, several of these agencies have launched, or will shortly launch, an appeal for volunteers. Centraide of Greater Montreal encourages citizens to respond positively.
Although they are ready, the agencies are confronted with a difficult and complex task. As well as guiding and supporting refugees in their various searches (e.g. for housing, employment, schools, or French language initiation), they will receive painful confidences and be called upon to refer refugees with physical health or psychological problems to the best professional resources.
In the face of the magnitude of these challenges, Centraide wants to launch a call for generosity so the agencies can continue their mission of welcoming and integrating refugees in a dignified manner.
To give to Centraide, visit www.centraide-mtl.org or text the word "DON" to 80100.
Centraide of Greater Montreal is an independent organization managed by a board of directors that is representative of the community. It serves Laval, Montreal and the South Shore, helping one in seven people through its network of community agencies. Some 57,000 volunteers are involved in the over 350 agencies supported by Centraide, and another 22,000 work on its annual campaign. Centraide is supported by some 1,600 private and public corporations and organizations as well as by large trade unions.
SOURCE Centraide of Greater Montreal
For further information: Annick Gagnon, Public Relations Coordinator, Centraide of Greater Montreal, 514 288-1261, ext. 242, firstname.lastname@example.org