Syrian Refugees in Burnaby
How You Can Help
The Syrian Civil War has generated the largest refugee crisis in decades. Since 2011, when the conflict began, over four million people have fled Syria. An additional eight million people have been displaced within the country. Based on past settlement patterns, it is estimated that B.C. will likely receive between 10% and 11% of the 25,000 refugees to be admitted to Canada, with three-quarters of them settling in the municipalities of Burnaby, Coquitlam, New Westminster, Surrey and Vancouver.
The Government of Canada, via the Ministry for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, has created an online portal for general information and updates on the refugee screening and arrivals process, as well as tips and suggestions for how to welcome refugees in local communities. Learn more »
As well, Burnaby’s Local Immigration Partnership – the Burnaby Intercultural Planning Table has a website with lots of information about local resources.
To assist and empower individuals and refugee-serving organizations to help in the resettlement process, Immigrant Services Society of BC in partnership with the Province of British Columbia have created an online Refugee Readiness Hub.
Accommodation and Volunteering
The Immigrant Services Society of BC has established a registry where those wanting to make a contribution can sign-up to provide accommodation and employment or volunteer their time. Learn more »
Note: Due to the overwhelming generosity of previous donors, ISSofBC is no longer accepting donations of clothing, furniture or other household items.
Private Refugee Sponsorships
The Ministry for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada provides information related to sponsoring refugees. As a sponsor, you would provide financial and emotional support for the refugees for the duration of the sponsorship. This includes housing, clothing and food. Learn more »
Also, local Members of Parliament (MP) Constituency Offices are available to provide information and support to private sponsorship groups. Find your area’s MP » (scroll down)
Other local refugee supporting organizations also support groups and organizations sponsoring refugees, including:
Making a Donation
A number of non-profits in the Lower Mainland support refugees. Locally in Burnaby, the primary refugee supporting organizations are:
- Immigrant Services Society of BC
Phone: 1-844-447-9742 (toll free)
- Journey Home Community (supporting refugee claimant individuals and families)
Website » (see button on top left of the webpage)
- Syrian Canadian Council
- Burnaby Family Life
Website » (see button on top right of the webpage)
- Burnaby Neighbourhood House
- Burnaby Community Services
Support to Refugee Families with School-Aged Children
- Settlement Workers in Schools, Burnaby School District
Website » (look for the ‘refugees – how can I help’ button on top right of webpage)
- Families are welcomed at the District Welcome Centre located at Marlborough Elementary (6060 Marlborough)
Donating Clothing and Household Items
Many organizations regularly accept donations of clothing and household items. Locally in Burnaby, the following non-profit operated thrift stores are located in neighbourhoods which, based on past settlement patterns, are more likely to be the areas in which refugees settle. Some furniture is also accepted – please call ahead.
- Burnaby Association for the South-East Side (BASES) Thrift Store
7825 Edmonds St. Burnaby
- Burnaby Hospice Thrift Store
6843 Kingsway Burnaby
The following local organizations also accept donations of clothing and household items. Some furniture is also accepted. Please call ahead:
- Helping Families in Need Society (Pick-up Service)
Phone: 604-294-3087 (leave a message 24hrs.)
- Burnaby Community Services - Hosting a one-day special drop-off on Sunday, December 20 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. For other drop-off times please call ahead to make an appointment (until February 2016).
Food and Meal Programs
To support culturally appropriate access to food, please consider making a donation to any of the following organizations:
- Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society (operates in Burnaby)
- Muslim Food Bank (located in Surrey, but open to Burnaby residents)
Quest Not-For-Profit Grocery Market
7753- 6th St. Burnaby
- SUCCESS Note: accepts gifts cards to food stores only
200 - 5172 Kingsway