ORCA aims to connect with housing developers and managers to add units to Kelowna’s housing market through renovations and new builds. ORCA sees the housing scarcity issue as being broader than just homes for newcomers and is working to help alleviate the housing crisis with new units, rather than add pressure to an already strained market.
Supporting Sponsoring Groups
On an as needed basis, ORCA helps sponsoring groups with their responsibilities, which are outlined by Citizenship and Immigration Canada and include:
- Reception (e.g.: meeting at the airport; welcoming; etc.)
- Orientation (e.g.: to the group, to the new neighbourhood, to Canada)
- Housing (e.g.: arranging for temporary accommodation; helping find permanent accommodation; budgeting for housing expenses)
- Transportation (e.g.: orienting to public transit system; assisting in obtaining driver’s license)
- Language(e.g.: assisting in scheduling language test; finding and registering for appropriate language program; etc.)
- Schooling (helping in the registration of children; finding adult education programs/courses; etc.)
- Childcare (helping arrange for child care when needed; informing about Canadian childcare practices and customs; sharing information about child protection laws)
- Emotional and moral support
Facilitating Support Pods for Government Assisted Refugees (GARs)
In contrast to refugees who are sponsored by groups or individuals, GARs do not have a ready connection to the community. ORCA aims to alleviate that isolation by building a support network of pods of committed individuals and families who will befriend and support GARS on a long-term basis.