Lacombe Community Refugee Effort comes together

Plans to bring a Syrian refugee family to Lacombe are beginning to take shape.

Plans to bring a Syrian refugee family to Lacombe are beginning to take shape.

The newly formed Lacombe Community Refugee Effort is a group of concerned citizens who have come together to work on a refugee project – sponsoring one Syrian family.

A group of around 30 people gathered at St. Cyprian’s Anglican Church hall last Sunday night to brainstorm ideas and form committees to cover all aspects of the new family’s future life in Lacombe.

Co-organizer Marlene Ironside said that around double the amount of attendees have reached out via email, noting their interest to participate in the effort.

“We want to make a difference to a Syrian family to settle in Lacombe,” said Ironside. “In light of the Syrian refugee crisis, a discussion has begun to consider the option of sponsoring a family in Lacombe. We have learned in our meetings that, if it takes a community to raise a child, it takes a small army of willing, compassionate citizens to successfully sponsor a refugee family.”

The small army will assist the family in all aspects of life including securing housing, giving rides to the grocery store and Central Alberta Refugee Effort (C.A.R.E.) in Red Deer, translation services, filling out forms, childcare and securing a bus pass.

The group is applying for sponsorship through a blended visa office referral.

“The goal is to engage in a three-way partnership with the Government of Canada, the United Nations and through private sponsorship,” said Ironside.

In this arrangement, the federal government supplies funding for the resettlement of the family for six months, followed by the sponsors supplying funding and social, emotional support for another six months. After a year has passed, the sponsored family may still require assistance.

Through the application process, once a family has been found that fits the Lacombe group’s specifications, they will be contacted and have two days to respond. “It will all happen very fast,” said Ironside.

This is why the group is gathering volunteers, donations and creating databases, in preparation of the arrival of the family of a maximum of eight.

The federal government estimates the cost of settling a single refugee to be around $12,000. The cost of a family of four is estimated at $25,000.

A timeline was not provided for the family’s selection or arrival in Lacombe.

Those who could not attend the meeting, but would still like to be involved or make a donation to the Lacombe Community Refugee Effort can contact Ironside at 403-350-1753, call Rod Vandaelle at 403-782-1842 or Betty Cruickshank at 403-782-5357.

news@lacombeexpress.com

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PHOTO: Lacombe Look Back

Vehicles and customers outside of the Aspen Beach Grocery, Gull Lake, 1920

Lacombe County: Notice of closure for construction on bridge and road

Road/bridge closure due to bridge construction from July 15 until July 29

City of Lacombe announces Westview Stairs to complete trail in lands west of Fairway Heights

Council approved the award of a contract to Timcon Construction

230 new COVID-19 cases reported over the weekend

City of Red Deer has nine active cases

QUIZ: Are you ready for a summer road trip?

How much do you really know about roads, motor vehicles and car culture? Take this quiz to find out.

PODCAST: The Expert tackles the return of sports

Cam Moon, Joe Whitbread, Byron Hackett and Todd Vaughan discuss how sports can come back

Sylvan Lake RCMP overwhelmed by Saturday’s crowded waterfront

“The sheer number of people at the beach is an indication that enforcement is not the solution.”

Canadian professional chuckwagon racer reflects on cancelled season

This year would have marked Troy Dorchester’s 28th year of racing.

Crowds in Sylvan Lake “commonplace” during summer months

The Town of Sylvan Lake looking for solutions from Province for large crowds not social distancing

Most Read