The City of Vancouver is partnering with Vancity to provide more support for the hundreds of incoming Syrian refugees.
Vancity will offer interest-free personal loans up to $50,000 to help homeowners make upgrades in order to take in the new arrivals.
“We’d really like to urge our residents to consider offering housing or employment to incoming refugees. They’re essential ingredients to settling them,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson.
The credit union also launched a fund to take in donations, and the city is encouraging others to contribute.
Chris Friesen with the Immigration Services Society of BC says since he called for B.C. residents to open up their homes, he’s been floored by the response.
He says it’s as though he’s been drinking from a “fire hydrant of humanity.”
“It’s unbelievable, whether it’s the seven-year-old child who’s given the $2 allowance for one week and shows up at our office, or the couple that recently got married and reduced the size of their wedding in order to provide us with a $5,000 donation, or the inner-city school that won a $!,000 and has helped provide transitional housing.”
The number of refugees coming to B.C. is always changing, but Friesen says 4,100 government-assisted refugees will arrive between now and the end of next year.