Each Leadership Winnipeg session offers participants the opportunity to understand Winnipeg from a new perspective. Newcomers are a huge part of what makes Winnipeg such a diverse and multicultural city. By 2030, it is expected that immigration will be responsible for all net labour force growth in Manitoba. With individuals joining us from so many diverse backgrounds, it is essential to have organizations in place to welcome them, and help them get settled. Our cohort spent the day learning about some of the initiatives that support integration in Winnipeg: Immigrant Centre, Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba (IRCOM) and Holy Names House of Peace.
The Immigrant Centre has been around for 72 years. They offer everything that a newcomer needs when arriving to Canada. From employment services, to English classes to volunteer services and nutrition classes, one commonality across all employees we met was their passion. Most staff at the Immigrant Centre are immigrants themselves. Their passion for helping others learn how to create a great life in Winnipeg is inspiring. Walking around their building on 100 Adelaide Street, the walls are filled with cases highlighting gifts from the home countries of those that have used the center’s services. It is hard when you come to a new country and don’t know where to get what you need. The Immigrant Centre helps with that. If you want to learn more, visit them in person, or go to their website:www.icmanitoba.ca. They are always looking for more volunteers!
IRCOM is a unique organization that offers both programming and living options for newcomers. They have two buildings in Winnipeg, which house approximately 250 people each. The goal of the organization is to be a place where everyone feels welcomed and connected – a space where there is opportunity for community creation and integration. Personally, I love that there is so much to do offered in the same building that individuals reside. One of the best ways to create connections is to have mixed use space, and offering everything from tax support to community gardens to child care, makes IRCOM a very welcoming place for newcomers. If you would like to learn more, check out their website: www.ircom.ca. They also have a new initiative underway to sponsor the renovation of a suite! This is a great way for companies to get involved with giving back to the community.
Since 2004, the Holy Names House of Peace has been a home to over 150 women. The stories of its residents are an intricate mix of heart-wrenching and inspiring. Individuals that left their homes in search of a better life. They offer programs for residents and the broader community, to support individuals facing addiction and abuse.Their goal is to create a place that truly feels safe, and like a home. They aim to empower women with everything they need to start a new life. With all that they do for the community, an astounding 53,000 people walk through their doors every year. To find out more, check out their website: www.houseofpeace.ca Each place we visited gave us greater insight into our city and its residents. Every Leadership Winnipeg day opens our eyes further, to so many amazing programs that are here to help. My family moved to Winnipeg in 2003 from Argentina, and it changed our lives. Winnipeg is such a welcoming city that prides itself on its diversity. I am proud to be part of this community and to be part of the 2019/2020 Leadership Winnipeg cohort!