Have you watched the situation in Ukrainian and want to help? If you're thinking of hosting a Ukrainian family, www.calgary4ukraine.com can help answer questions and point you in the right direction.
Some Facts According to our Ward 6 Office:
The Government of Alberta is anticipating 8000 arrivals in Alberta over the next year. The current estimate is that 400 Ukrainians have arrived in Calgary to date with another 600 anticipated to arrive by mid-May. Most are women with children. Early arrivals had family connections in Alberta, but now people are arriving without family or friends in the city.
Federal and provincial supports
The federal government announced six weeks of emergency funding for Ukrainian arrivals but how to apply, who is eligible and when the program will start is unclear. Employment and Social Development Canada is working with their provincial and territorial counterparts about what additional supports, if any, will be put in place to support arrivals beyond six weeks. The federal government also announced two weeks of emergency hotel stays but details are still being confirmed.
The provincial government is in conversations with stakeholders on longer term housing solutions. All Ukrainian arrivals are eligible for Alberta healthcare. In Calgary, agencies are using Airbnb for immediate housing upon arrival. In addition, the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society and the Ukrainian Canadian Congress have developed a network of 30 host families who are being trained and supported to welcome Ukrainians. They can ramp up this program if additional hosts are needed.
City of Calgary Supports:
Calgary Transit and Fair Entry Ukrainian arrivals eligible for the Fair Entry program, will have access to City of Calgary subsidized services and programs at reduced rates, including Calgary Transit. Additionally, Calgary Transit will be providing transit tickets through the Participation and Integration in the Community (PIC) program and numbers will be determined by the need identified by supporting settlement agencies. Providing the tickets through central agencies that are connected to the Ukrainian community will allow for a streamlined approach, making sure those who are in greatest need are addressed as quickly as possible.
For the Fair Entry Program, the Registered Social Worker (RSW) Letter is an existing, acceptable income proof that can be used in cases when newcomers from other countries arrive in Calgary with no income proofs. The RSW Letter can be obtained through the settlement agencies whose purpose is to help them with their settlement needs in general. The settlement agencies are well-versed in this practice and do it Memo routinely. Information on Fair Entry and the Getting started in Calgary information on The City of Calgary website are being translated into Ukrainian.
Local Settlement Supports:
Citizens interested in supporting local efforts can be directed to the organizations below who are actively working with Ukrainian arrivals:
• Calgary Catholic Immigration Society has dedicated staff working with Ukrainian community agencies, including a housing liaison.
• Calgary East Zone Newcomer Collaborative has dedicated staff and a collaborative of dozens of agencies working with new arrivals.
• Women in Need Society is accepting donations of goods and will ensure all Ukrainian arrivals have access to their House to Home program.
For information on how you can support all refugees and newcomers to our community, visit www.calgarylip.ca/refugeeswelcomehere