A home is so much more than just a building, and losing a home is one of the most difficult things a family could experience.
At the end of last year when the Canadian government announced its commitment to bring in 25,000 Syrian refugees, Concert immediately stepped up to offer sanctuary for those newly arriving families.
Beginning in January, Concert has worked closely with the Immigrant Services Society of BC, the lead agency coordinating the arrival and settlement of government-assisted refugees from Syria, to provide year-long accommodations at a subsidized rate in line with refugee’s government housing benefits budget.
Under this arrangement, twenty suites in Whitgift Gardens are now home to twenty individual families (additionally, three more families have since been placed at Langara Gardens in Vancouver). Whitgift Gardens is located in Coquitlam, which is already home to many immigrant populations and provides easy access to supportive government agencies.
When Concert Senior Project Manager Susan Lum heard about the housing effort, she knew that she could, along with the help of her quilter guild the Fore Shore Quilters Guild, do even more to welcome the families to Canada.
“We meet once a month and often make quilts for the community,” says Susan. “We began around Christmas and this past May have completed a quilt for each family.”
Joanna Leung, Property Management Assistant, put together a package that included a welcome note with each unique quilt, and all of the families have now received their gift.
“The gift is symbolic in that quilts provide warmth, security and comfort,” says Joanna. “I hope that the Syrian families felt the same ‘warm’ welcome when arriving.”