After months of lobbying, with the support of the Salmon Arm, Enderby and Sicamous councils, and the Salmon Arm Economic Development Society and Chamber of Commerce, Shuswap Settlement Services Society has announced that it has been awarded funding to provide immigrant settlement services and to lead the WelcomeShuswap initiative.
Historically, smaller communities were denied funding on the grounds that there were insufficient numbers of immigrants to warrant the services.
Consequently, immigrants tended to congregate in larger centres where settlement services were available.
Over time numerous studies have concluded that the provision of immigrant settlement services locally was a first priority for attracting and retaining immigrants in a community.
Under this new Welcoming Communities Program for Smaller Centres, Shuswap Settlement Services will both provide immigrant settlement services and work with local governments and partners to foster a caring and welcoming community.
Shuswap Settlement Services will convene a meeting of its community partners in early February to determine a community action plan that will make for a more welcoming community.
The primary focus will be on attracting and retaining immigrants.
Community members or organizations interested in serving as partners or interested in volunteering are invited to visit the Shuswap Immigrant Services office at 351 Hudson Ave. NE (across from the Salmon Arm post office), email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 250-838-6445.