In the first year of existence, the STELIP focused on gathering information about supports that existed in the community, and identified newcomer needs that could be addressed. The community engagement and research aspects of the initiative were designed to take into account the principle of inclusivity. These outreach and research activities crossed many sectors as well as all regions of the County utilizing different methods of information gathering.
Surveys for immigrants, businesses, service providers, faith communities, and civic clubs helped us gather information from different stakeholders, and were used to identify existing services, innovative ways to build capacity to enhance service delivery to a diverse population, and ways to establish interagency collaboration. In addition, eight roundtable discussions were offered across Elgin County. This consultation process was robust with the participation of more than 250 key leaders and community members providing insightful feedback.
In the first year the STELIP completed some foundation laying tasks, including:
- Establishing a Local Immigration Partnership Council
- Enhancing understanding of non-settlement service providers and the community at large of newcomer’s challenges
- Strengthening awareness and capacity to integrate newcomers’ needs and available services.
- Developing a local Settlement Strategy and anaction plan that addressed local priorities identified during the consultation process