Winnipeg newcomer housing centre gets facelift
Transitional housing complex has multilingual library, daycare and rooms for large families
Some newcomers to Winnipeg are about to move into a new and improved home.
The Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba (IRCOM) held a grand opening Monday for a transitional housing building it has at 215 Isabel Street.
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The building has 60 units and is almost full after getting a recent facelift.
"This is an incredibly important day," said IRCOM executive director Dorota Blumczynska.
It also has an early childhood development centre for newcomer families who need daycare, and a multilingual library.
Blumczynska said the building is one of just two fitted with a heat treatment room to prevent the spread of pests throughout the building.
She said the building is more than housing for newcomers — it's a hub filled with resources to help refugees, refugee claimants and provincial nominees.
"We change the outcomes," she said, adding that the organization tries to empower families by giving them the tools they need, not handouts.
Blumczynska said there is a misconception newcomers are a strain on society when in fact many give back to the community by volunteering as cleaners and child-care assistants, for example.
"It is in fact the greatest gift to us because it reminds us of our common humanity."
with files from Louis-Philippe Leblanc