Resources for refugees in Winnipeg

Resources for Refugees and Immigrants to Winnipeg/Manitoba

This document provides contact information as well as a description of services for organizations providing programs and services for refugees in Winnipeg.  The following Winnipeg-based organizations are included:

–          Global Welcome Centre for Immigrants and Refugees – University of Winnipeg

–          Government of Manitoba – Immigrant Settlement Services

–          Hospitality House Refugee Ministry Inc. (HHRM)

–          International Centre of Winnipeg

–          Immigrant Women’s Association of Winnipeg

–          Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba Inc. (IRCOM)

–          Mennonite Central Committee Manitoba – Refugee Assistance Program

–          Manitoba Interfaith Immigration Council (MIIC)

–          Manitoba START

–          Newcomer Employment and Education Development Services Inc. (NEEDS)

–          Project Oasis (New Directions)

After providing the details of these organizations, this document also includes a list of additional organizations that provide services for newcomers to Winnipeg as well as a list of names and contact information for programs outside the city of Winnipeg.

Global Welcome Centre for Immigrants and Refugees – University of Winnipeg

University of Winnipeg 511 Ellice Ave, 1st Floor, Room 1E04

Phone: 204.258.2946

Fax: 204.786.7803


The Centre, established in September 2007 helps immigrants and refugees with language barriers between them and post-secondary education and offers advice on how pursue a university degree or diploma here in Manitoba.  Programs and services include:

–          Computer Classes

–          Immigrant Access Advisor

–          University Preparation Program for Immigrants

–          Bridge-to-University Program

–          Mentoring and Tutoring Program

–          Volunteer Opportunities

Government of Manitoba – Immigrant Settlement Services


The Government of Manitoba website lists the following resources for immigrants (not specifically refugees) who have moved to Winnipeg.  They provide contact information for a local settlement worker for help adjusting to life and advice with everyday tasks such as banking and shopping, school and child day care, health care, housing issues and finding community services.  Services are divided by neighbourhood:

Elmwood Neighbourhood Immigrant Settlement Worker
Elmwood Community Resource Centre
200 Levis Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada
R2L 2C2
Phone: 204-982-1720 ext.205
Fort Garry/Fort Richmond Neighbourhood Immigrant Settlement Worker
Dalhousie School
262 Dalhousie Drive
Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada
R3T 2Z1
Phone: 204-261-0163
Inkster Neighbourhood Immigrant Settlement Worker
Nor’ West Health Clinic
103 – 61 Tyndall Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada
R2X 2T4
Phone: 204-940-1697
River East/Transcona Neighbourhood Immigrant Settlement Worker
Bernie Wolfe Community School
95 Bournais Drive
Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada
R2C 3Z2
Phone: 204-669-9412 ext. 2968
Seven Oaks Neighbourhood Immigrant Settlement Worker
A.E. Wright Community School
1520 Jefferson Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada
R2P 1K1
Phone: 204-632-6314, ext. 238 or 880-7826
St. James-Assiniboia Neighbourhood Immigrant Settlement Worker
Jameswood Community School
1 Braintree Crescent
Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada
R3J 1C7
Phone: 204-831-7405
St. Vital Neighbourhood Immigrant Settlement Worker
René Deleurme Centre
511 St. Anne’s Road
Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada
R2M 3E5
Phone: 204-257-7308 ext. 310
Tuxedo/Edgeland/Doncaster Neighbourhood Immigrant Settlement Worker
Tuxedo Resource Centre
1 – 225 Doncaster Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada
R3N 1X7
Phone: 204-489-9141
West Central Neighbourhood Immigrant Settlement Worker
West Central Women’s Resource Centre
101B – 583 Ellice Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada
R3B 1J7
Phone: 204-774-7990
William Whyte Neighbourhood Immigrant Settlement Worker
William Whyte Residents Association
295 Pritchard Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada
R2W 2J2
Phone: 204-582-9091

Hospitality House Refugee Ministry Inc. (HHRM)

Micah House, 1039 Main Street

Winnipeg, MB R2W 3R2

Phone: (204) 589-2092


HHRM is a non-profit organization in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Their goal is to sponsor as many refugees as possible so long as they arrive comfortably and have access to proper living conditions.  Hospitality House receives no government funding.  Throughout the years of its ministry, Hospitality House has used the legal sponsoring capacity of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Winnipeg, and (since 1992) of the Anglican Diocese of Rupert’s Land, each of whom has enabling agreements with the Canadian Government and is therefore known as a Sponsorship Agreement Holder.  The organization provides many services for refugees including a temporary home-setting in a quiet Winnipeg neighbourhood.  Believed to be the largest direct sponsor of refugees in Canada, Hospitality House has sponsored more than 7,000 refugees since it was established in 1989 and 2008.  Hospitality House, with live-in hosts, itself can accommodate up to eight refugees at a time.  Some of the sponsored refugees live in Hospitality House during their first days in Canada.

International Centre of Winnipeg

406 Edmonton Street
Winnipeg, MB R3B 2M2
Phone: (204) 943-9158
Fax: (204) 949-0734

The International Centre of Winnipeg offers employment/vocational and educational counselling, assistance with career transitions, labour market information, job search skills and workplace expectations, employer referrals, and a computer resource centre.  Note that these services are for immigrants in general and not refugees in particular.  Services offered include:

–          Intake and referral

–          Settlement Services

–          Adult Education

–          Access English Centre (AEC)

–          Manitoba Nominee Application Centre (NAC)

–          Employment Services

–          Workplace Entry Program

–          Language Bank and Translation Services

–          Computer Lending Library

–          Nutrition Services

–          Citizenship Classes

Immigrant Women’s Association of Winnipeg

960 Portage Avenue, 3rd floor

Phone (204) 414-9452

IWAM was established in 1983 to help immigrant and refugee women and their families get settled in Canada.  IWAM has counselling services, English as Another Language training, and provides advocacy as well as a variety of different programs and projects for women to get involved in.

Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba Inc. (IRCOM)

95 Ellen Street

R3A 1S8 Winnipeg, MB

Phone: (204) 943-8765

Fax: (204) 943-4810


IRCOM strives to empower newcomer families to integrate into the wider community through affordable transitional housing, programs, and services.  Services offered include:

Transitional Housing:

IRCOM provides newcomer families with second-stage accommodation for a period of 1 year, with the possibility of renewal for another 2 years (for a maximum of three years from arrival in Canada).  IRCOM House operates a 67 unit 2 & 3 bedroom apartment block which offers such conveniences as proximity to schools, libraries, stores and shopping centres, places of worship, social service agencies, government offices, and recreational facilities.

After-School Programs (Children and Youth):

The children’s programs run five times a week after school from 4pm to 6pm and comprise of a number of different activities aimed at helping newcomer children integrate positively with their new community in Winnipeg. Some of the activities include:

–          Arts & Crafts, cultural arts, visits to Graffiti Art Gallery, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Art City, and other creative centres.

–          Family program once a week with selected families; families including all children and parents take part in 8 week session programs at a time. New families are enrolled per session

–          Variety programs including karaoke or puppet plays, watching movies, swimming, environmental activities, culturally relevant activities and outreach to neighbouring communities and agencies programs.

–          Raise-a-reader.

–          Gym program at Victoria Albert School.

The youth programs run four times a week (Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays) from 7pm to 9pm with a variety of activities. The content of programs vary from season to season but for this year they include:

–          Arts Programming including a joint program with our partner agency at Spence Neighbourhood Association, and hip-hop workshops.

–          Youth leadership programs.

–          Homework drop-in program.

–          Girls’ night on Fridays is an evening run by female staff and volunteers and provides a safe space for girls.

–          Boys’ night on Fridays is an evening is run by male staff and volunteers and provides a safe space for boys.

Community Resource Program:

The Community Resource Program (CRP) works to connect immigrants, refugees and refugee claimants with the resources and support they require in order to succeed in their new environment. The CRP and its staff provide newcomers with support services, community linkages, training and referrals that will enable and empower clients to live independently in a Canadian context.

Volunteer Program:

IRCOM provides many essential community services to its tenants and the surrounding neighbourhood through the help of our committed volunteers. The wide range of services provided at IRCOM helps to meet the needs of the newcomer population in Winnipeg in order for them to make a successful transition into their new home.  Our volunteers contribute to the success of IRCOM and extend our reach into the larger Winnipeg and Manitoba community.

Newcomer Literacy Initiative:

Established in 2007, the Newcomer Literacy Initiative provides adult EAL literacy classes to newcomer immigrants and refugees who cannot access mainstream programs due to childcare commitments or mobility issues. With on-site childcare and language supports, the NLI program currently runs 3 classrooms serving over 45 learners and their children.

IRCOM Ambassadors:

With a focus on building awareness around the realities of being a new Canadian, the overarching objective of the IRCOM Ambassadors project is to create a more inclusive, engaged and tolerant society within which diverse groups can learn from one another and build stronger communities together.

Asset Building Programs:

IRCOM’s Asset Building Program (ABP) assists low-income participants from the newcomer community to gain money management skills in addition to saving for an asset that will improve the quality of their lives. To help participants meet their savings goals our program includes the following:

–          Money Management Training classes adapted to an English-as-an-Additional-Language (EAL) format with culturally relevant information about transportation loans and the Refugee Assistance Program (RAP),

–          Matched savings credits that are added to the funds that participants save on their own,

–          Peer support and the opportunity to share their experiences with money, ways to deal with issues such as the pressure to send money back home 

–          One-to-one support from IRCOM staff.

IRCOM offers the following Asset Building Programs:

–          The Saving Circle (SC) Program: Supports low-income individuals and families save for needed assets including: furniture, medical expenses, computers, education, small business start up or expansion, and other household necessities.  Participants in the SC Program open special matched savings accounts and their savings are matched 3:1 by IRCOM up to a specified limit.  Participants have up to six (6) months to save toward their asset goals.

–          The Individual Development Account (IDA) Program: Supports low-income individuals and families save toward: buying a home, renovating a home, their own or spouse’s education, children’s education, starting or expanding a small business, disability supports. Participants in the IDA Program open special matched savings accounts and their savings are matched 3:1 by IRCOM up to a specified limit.  Participants have up to two (2) years to save toward their asset goals.

Other Programs:

–          Family-to-Family Program seeks to: decrease isolation of newcomers through positive, family to family interaction with Canadian families; raise public awareness about newcomers’ lives in Canada; and bring together Canadian and newcomer families by building bridges and friendships.

–          Newcomer Greening Initiative: Beginning in April 2007, the Newcomer Greening Initiative began with just a handful of growers utilizing the balcony space at IRCOM to grow vegetables and herbs from Canada and their home countries. In its fourth year, the initiative has expanded to include over 20 growers and no longer fits on the balconies at IRCOM. Currently growers are also growing with other community members on space made available by Dufferin School in the neighbourhood. Grower’s involved in the program have often commented on the role that the gardening plays in building community. The program has been embraced by community members from all backgrounds and is intending to expand even further for Spring 2011 with additional growing space being donated by Hugh John MacDonald School.

–          Adult Language Partners Program pairs up community volunteers with IRCOM House residents who have expressed an interest in having an English language partner. It is the aim of the Adult Language Partners Program to improve the conversational English of newcomers and provide them with opportunities to build relationships with others living outside of IRCOM house.

Mennonite Central Committee Manitoba – Refugee Assistance Program

Contact: Brian Dyck
159 Henderson Hwy
Winnipeg, MB ,  R2L 1L4
Phone: (204)925-1914
Phone: 1-866-530-4450

Manitoba Interfaith Immigration Council (MIIC)

Welcome Place

521 Bannatyne Ave.

Winnipeg, MB R3A 0E4

Phone: (204) 977-1000

Fax: (204) 956-7548

Email: (available through website at)

Manitoba Interfaith Immigration Council (MIIC) promotes and supports the protection and resettlement of refugees and offers a range of services that welcomes and assists refugee newcomers in their settlement and integration into Canadian society.  It is a voluntary association of faith communities and individual Manitobans that developed after the Second World War when “displaced persons” had to declare their religious affiliation in order to enter the country.

The services offered now rely on funding from the federal and provincial governments, private foundations, individual donors, and the various faith communities.  The majority of staff are themselves immigrants and/or refugees.  All faiths are welcome to appoint representatives.

Reception Services:

Newly arrived government assisted refugees are temporarily housed at Welcome Place Residence (521 Bannatyne Ave), in self-contained and furnished apartments with access to on-site life skills and settlement support.  Services include:

–          Handling evening and weekend emergency calls from clients at Welcome Place Residence

–           Picking up and distributing donated items to refugee claimants and to privately sponsored refugees

–          Assisting clients in finding affordable housing

–          Arranging for furniture delivery and moving clients to their permanent housing

–          Providing child minding support for families residing at Welcome Place Residence

Settlement Services:

–          Receiving government assisted refugees at the airport

–          Assisting to establish a settlement plan

–          Providing information and orientation about life in Canada

–          Facilitating referral and access to community services such as health care, language training, employment assistance, income supports, education, and financial services

–          Offering interpretation and advocacy to facilitate access to services in the community

Life Skills Training:

Trainers assist newly-arrived refugees to learn basic life skills through practical activities designed to foster independence in specific life skills areas.  Services include assistance in:

–          learning safety measures

–          understanding how to take care of accommodation, including how to use appliances

–          learning about life in Canada

–          practising how to get around, including the use of public transportation

–          learning about services available in their neighbourhoods

–          using the banking system

–          learning “smart” shopping

Sponsorship Services:

–          Sponsoring family linked, special needs, and visa office referred refugees

–          Assisting refugee newcomers to reunite with family members

–          Partnering with community based constituent groups

–          Promoting and assisting with refugee sponsorships

–          Assisting with the Family Class sponsorship process

–          Facilitating One Year Window of Opportunity applications

–          Assisting sponsored refugees to prepare for their interview

–          Providing services and resources to refugee sponsoring groups in Manitoba

In-Canada Protection Services:

MIIC provides para-legal services to those without legal status in Canada – primarily refugee claimants.  Services include:

–          Providing information about making refugee claims and/or other in-Canada applications

–          Facilitating access to lawyers or other agencies  as required

–          Advocating for those seeking protection in Canada

–          Assisting with applications for: making a refugee claim in Canada; Work Permits; Legal Aid; Pre-Removal Risk Assessment; Permanent Residence; Humanitarian & Compassionate considerations; and Other applications relating to refugee protection status

Volunteer Services:

Trained volunteers assist newly arrived refugees and refugee claimants with their settlement and integration.  Services include:

–          Providing classroom Conversational English as an Additional Language (EAL)

–          Providing tours of and orientation to the City of Winnipeg

–          Providing additional support to MIIC services and programs

–          Offering friendship and support to refugee newcomers

–          Organizing, in partnership with other like-minded organizations, special events for newcomers and volunteers

–          Participating in fund-raising and awareness events

–          Training youth to become a support network to newly arrived newcomer youth

Manitoba START

228 Notre Dame Avenue

Winnipeg, MB

Phone: (204) 944-8830

Manitoba START is a government-sponsored agency that provides new immigrants with personalized information to help them adjust to life in Manitoba.  Newly arrived Immigrants are registered for the ENTRY orientation program and registered for employment services to help them find employment.  Manitoba START provides information and referrals to appropriate services, including employment search assistance, information on Manitoba laws, how to get around, health care and government services, English language assessment, and career planning.  Goals, skill levels, and basic needs are assessed.

Note that Manitoba START is for immigrants in general, not specifically refugees.


Newcomer Employment and Education Development Services Inc. (NEEDS)

251-A Notre Dame Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
R3B 1N8
Phone: (204) 940-1260
Fax: (204) 940-1272

NEEDS Inc. is a non-profit, charitable organization.  The company was established in 1999 by immigrant and refugee women for newcomers to Canada.  These women developed programming based on their own personal experiences, needs assessment and realistic expectations.  NEEDS Inc. provides accessible services and support to immigrant and refugee children and youth and their families through NEEDS Centre.

Youth Programs include Crime Prevention/Youth Mentorship, an Employment Program, Introduction to Canadian Education, and a Youth After School program.  NEEDS Inc. also provides psycho-social educators to support their clients.

Project Oasis (New Directions)

(A division of) New Directions for Children, Youth, Adults & Families
491 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 2E4
Phone: (204) 786-0846
Fax: (204) 786-2071


Project OASIS is a multi-disciplinary program designed to respond to the challenges faced by newcomer youth from countries in political strife. OASIS (outreach and support to individuals in settlement) specifically targets newcomer refugee youth, between the ages of 12 and 21, who are in contact with the Youth Criminal Justice System.

We develop person-centred plans and resources in consultation with the youth, their family members, corrections staff, mental health professionals, school and addictions workers, and interpreters. Other community members are also involved where appropriate.

The goal of Project OASIS is to respond to newcomer youth challenges with hope and opportunity by:

–          providing intensive wrap-around case management and ongoing support to program participants

–          connecting participants to academic resources to improve their school performance and attendance

–          providing family support to participants’ families to enhance, educate and facilitate the wellness of the entire family system

–          assessing for mental health issues and providing treatment, as appropriate, through community or in-house resources

–          delivering E.S.P. (English for special purposes) training in literacy, numeracy, and computer skills

–          providing recreational activities

–          delivering life skills training

–          connecting participants with employment resources and assisting with job searches

–          facilitating job placements

Additional Organizations:

The following is a list of additional community organisations which provide services for newcomers to Manitoba, as per a list provided at

These services, unless otherwise noted, are not directed specifically toward refugees.

Jewish Child and Family Services
Suite C200-123 Doncaster Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3N 2B2

Lao Association of Manitoba
7-983 Arlington Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3E 2E6

Indochina Chinese Association of Manitoba
648 McGee Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3E 1W8

Philippine Association of Manitoba

88 Juno Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Employment Projects for Women
990-167 Lombard Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 0V3

Success Skills Centre
616-1661 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3J 3T7

Ukrainian Canadian Congress
456 Main Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 1B6

Black Youth Helpline
P.O. Box 11
1631 St-Mary’s Road
Winnipeg, Manitoba R2M 4A5

Citizenship Council of Manitoba
406 Edmonton Street, 2nd Floor
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 2M2



These services help immigrants adjust to life in Manitoba and the local community by providing information and assistance with everyday tasks, and referral to community resources for English improvement, employment and education.  They provide assistance with job search and career planning; immigration and notary services are also offered.

Note that these services are provided for all immigrants, not only refugees.

Arborg & Riverton Immigrant Settlement Services

PO Box 582
337 River Road
Arborg, Manitoba Canada
R0C 2A0
Phone: (204) 376-3623
Fax: (204) 376-5379

Asessippi Parkland Settlement Services

178 Main Street
PO Box 1359
Russell, Manitoba Canada
R0J 1W0

Services provided for newcomers in the Russell, Inglis, Angusville, and Binscarth area.

Cartwright, Killarney, Boissevain Settlement Services

89 Curwen Street
PO Box 9
Cartwright, Manitoba Canada
R0K 0L0
Phone: (204) 529-2590
Fax: (204) 529-2288

Eastman Immigrant Services

D4 – 284 Reimer Avenue
Steinbach, Manitoba Canada
R5G 0R5

Neepawa Immigrant Settlement Services
290 Davidson Street
Neepawa, Manitoba Canada
R0J 1H0
Services provided for newcomers in Neepawa, Minnedosa, Gladstone and area.

Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes – Centre des services bilingues
51 – 55 rue Rodgers
Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes, Manitoba Canada
R0G 1M0

Parkland Regional Settlement Services

421 Main Street
Grandview, Manitoba Canada
R0L 0Y0
Services provided for newcomers in Grandview, Roblin, Rossburn, Dauphin and area.

Portage Learning and Literacy Centre
2nd Floor – 110 Saskatchewan Avenue West
Portage la Prairie, Manitoba Canada
R1N 0M1

South Central Immigrant Services

2 – 295 Perry Street
Winkler, Manitoba Canada
R6W 4A6

Services are also available in Morden (34 Stephen Street, 204-822-4387) and Altona (30 Main Street, 204-324-6858).

St-Laurent – Centre des services bilingues

Centre Récréatif St. Laurent
Lot 825 sur autoroute 6
St-Laurent, Manitoba Canada
R0C 2S0

St-Pierre-Jolys – Centre des services bilingues

427 rue Sabourin
St-Pierre-Jolys, Manitoba Canada
R0A 1V0

Swan Valley Settlement Services
120 – 6th Avenue North
Swan River, Manitoba Canada
R0L 1Z0

Thompson Newcomer Settlement Services
3 Station Road
Thompson, Manitoba Canada
R8N 1P1
Phone: 204-677-1495
Fax: 204-778-5672
Toll-free: 1-888-847-7878

Virden Settlement Services
227 Wellington Street West
Virden, Manitoba Canada
R0M 2C0
Phone: 204-851-1432
Fax: 204-748-2895

Westman Immigrant Services

1001 Pacific Avenue
Brandon, Manitoba Canada
R7A 0J2

English language assessment and classes are provided to newcomers.


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