Minutes Jan 12, 2016

AGENDA 7pm Jan12, 2016

St. Alban’s Refugee Settlement Committee

Due to weather conditions not everyone could attend. But still, a lively and robust group.

Settlement Plan Up-date:

Pam advised the members in attendance that we are fortunate to now have a 3-bedroom house for our first Syrian family. We are all grateful to the Tyler family for making this possible. Pam deferred to Angela for the particulars…

Housing Update:
Angela - gave a good overview of the house, it’s condition and the particulars of a leasing arrangement. It will be available to us in a couple of weeks.

Pam - advised that we are still looking for a second accommodation (house or apt.) for the second group and asked everyone to talk to realtors/landlords they may know.

Other – Brian advised there is a possibility of accommodation thru the Ministerial group and he would follow up. Jason advised of a possibility that he will pursue.

Chris, Mike - Chris advised that he met with Kathleen Dills, HH Chamber Manager who will advise the members and do everything she can.

Pam - available help Pam pointed out there are many services available around employment but we will have to wait until we know what skills the family has.

Health Plan:
 Allison Jones – “notes to file” Pam speak to notes Pam advised that Allison provided a comprehensive list of services we will need and will send it out to the Committee so all are aware.  
  • Who wants a copy of notes
  • Who will call all clinics, etc. to put on notice 
  • Allison will contact Clinics to make them aware we will require both male and female Doctors.
  • Require both female & male Dr. (if Muslim)

Allison, Tauni, Chris – Allison advised the Mental Health organization has offered a free workshop in Acton for training for recognition of issues around trauma, crisis, etc., if there are enough interested. Twelve hands went up. We can also invite other local groups. Allison will follow up.

Language & Education:
Pre-arrival: Rev.Brian, Pam (translators) Pam & Brian have leads on 3 who may assist us. ESL Settlement Assessment - Karen G.  Karen gave a comprehensive overview of what is offered at the Assessment Centre in Milton. The centre assesses the children and the adults shortly after arrival. We will require drivers to get them there.  Muslim/Arabic speaking students in 3 schools here? Bryn will pursue  Programs available in Acton – Pam advised the Library has brochures on them all and there are many we can use when the time comes.

Fill in “Driving” chart. A Driving Chart was passed around.

Religious & Cultural Considerations:
Rev. Brian, update Brian advised there is a mosque on the 4th Line, N. of Steeles; he has met with the Imam and they have offered cultural and financial assistance. Brian was invited to meet with members on Friday 15th. A great opportunity and connection.

Pam re: culture: Pam met with a young Muslim woman on cultural issues. Advised that touching, hugging would make most families uncomfortable, whether they are Muslim or Christian. Child care would be very minimal, if at all, in the beginning; they eat mostly a Mediterranean diet. Interesting fact: Don’t ask Muslim family to a marshmallow roast…marshmallows are made with “pork” grease! Who knew? Advised Halal at No Frills, Sobey’s to a lesser extent, and Maple Lodge Farms. Also, many small Mediterranean food shops in Milton. (Drivers again)                       


Ann Stewart, Keith Smith – up-date Keith in touch with 4 banks in Town. Will up-date us.

Info on Activan, Mike Albano “notes to file” 
GO bus available; drivers required for first few months or year. Chris Miller advised he would take family member around to many Car Dealers when the time came. International license (if they have one) good for 3 months. We may have to fundraise for driving lessons.

Furniture & Household Goods:
See furniture charts going around
Storage Space – rent? Up-date
Rented small spot at Rockwood Self Storage (6th Line/#7); $85/month; request donators to hold their furniture at home until we need it.
Require Moving Guys NOW! Bedroom suite in Geo. DONE! Exciting Day!

Gift Cards:
Pauline Russell up-date (see below)

Grocery Shopping:
Pauline Russell – up-date.  Pam advised Pauline that Marg Abrams expressed interest in working with her on this file. Pauline will connect with Marg.

Emergency Personnel:
Pam up-date (Mike Albano) Fire Dept. & Police Dept. will work with us to help newcomers understand our emergency services process. 
We may be fast-tracked! Multicultural mtg. date; Arrival…who’s going? There is a possibility we may receive a list of families, from the Diocese, to choose from within the next week or two…you will know the minute we know!  NOTE: The date of a Multicultural meeting has not been confirmed.  Brian advised the Gov’t. puts up the family in a hotel upon arrival (after 20 hours of travelling) so we will organize “greetings to Canada” group when we know more.

THE BLOG! Wonderful, huge thanks to Jennifer. I’ll send out link. Blog link is

Jennifer has done an amazing job with a Blog for our initiative. Check it out!

NEXT MEETING DATE: Tues., January 26, 2016. 7 p.m. St. Alban’s Parish Hall

Driver Sign Up Form

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