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New programs aim to support B.C. newcomers

Starting today, newcomers to B.C. will be getting support settling into communities through new programs and services.

The newcomer-services program will focus on helping people settle into communities, work on their English, and find work. The safe haven program will offer refugee claimants and those in vulnerable situations trauma counselling, help in finding housing, and English-language instruction.

Minister of municipal affairs Anne Kang says she can relate to the challenges newcomers face.

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“My ministry is listening, and we understand the need for more supportive services,” said Kang.

The province says as part of this initiative, they have quadrupled funding for newcomer services from $6 million to $25.6 million. $13.4 million will go to the newcomer program, while $12.2 million goes to the safe haven program.

Along with the programs, there is also a new website that provides information on health care, driving, taxes, emergency resources, and anti-racism initiatives for newcomers.

They hope these services can serve over 40,000 people a year.

To learn more about the services, click here.

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