Hundreds of Syrian refugees expected in Waterloo Region this month
Published Wednesday, December 2, 2015 4:40PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, December 3, 2015 11:07AM EST
Waterloo Region is still expected to become the new home for 1,150 Syrian refugees, but the majority of them won’t arrive locally until after New Year’s.
“(It) could be about 260, 270 additional people coming in (before the end of 2015),” Reception House executive director Bert Lobe said Wednesday.
That figure only includes refugees expected through the federal government’s resettlement program, not those brought in by private sponsors.
It’s about as many as Reception House typically sees in a year – enough to overwhelm their 30-bed facility on David Street in Kitchener.
Lobe says Reception House has been working with local real estate agents, hotel operators and others to find temporary housing for the refugees.
After two to three weeks in those locations, the newcomers will be moved to more permanent homes.
The regional government is now taking part in a resettlement committee designed to ensure local agencies work together to meet refugees needs.
“There are lots of people that are helping,” said Liana Nolan, the region’s medical officer of health.
A website has also been set up to act as a hub for information about local refugee resettlements.
The website provides information on donating to, volunteering for and sponsoring the refugee effort, as well as links to other agencies taking part in the process.