London

City launches new tools welcoming newcomers to Home Sweet London

In an effort to ease many of the difficulties newcomers can face when they move to a new city, London has launched welcome kiosks, packed with local resources.

Information kiosks are now available at City Hall and the Bostwick Community Centre

A welcome kiosk is now available at London City Hall and the Bostwick Community Centre as a resource to help newcomers to the city. (Travis Dolynny/CBC)

In an effort to ease many of the difficulties newcomers can face when they move to a new city, London has launched welcome kiosks, packed with local resources.

The initiative is called "Home Sweet Home" and uses touch screens with an easy to navigate platform that aims to break down barriers to accessing services, free of charge.

"We are showcasing available services in the City of London and broader community to newcomers," said Jill Tansley, manager of Strategic Programs and Partnerships for Housing and Social Services.

"Whether it might be how to settle into London, how to begin looking for work, where to put their children in school or learn English, it's all at the tip of their fingers."

The platform is available in dozens of languages​, including ​​​​​​Arabic, French, Spanish and Chinese.

"Try to put yourself in their shoes. Here's someone who is far from their home, they may not have English as their first or second language, they're not quite sure how to access services," said Tansley

"There are lots and lots of excellent settlement services in London and this is a guide to show them where to begin."

The welcome kiosks are located beside Service London counters at City Hall and the Bostwick Community Centre.

The initiative was introduced by Choose London – Innovative, Vibrant and Global: London's Newcomer Strategy and endorsed by the previous city council in June, 2018.

You can also access the platform online at immigration.london.ca.