Support for Newcomers

March 2019 marked the wrap up of our Making Grey Bruce Home Project and the start of a new one – Rural Pathways for Newcomer Women Project.  Making Grey Bruce Home was funded by Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada and  involved developing, testing and implementing a model for increasing the capacity of rural regions to support the social and economic integration of current and anticipated refugees and vulnerable newcomers.  The overall goal of the project was to benefit communities that do not have formal settlement and support services.

As part of the project, a virtual newcomer information hub ( was developed and implemented and provides valuable information that can be searched in 24 different languages.

Left to right:  Project Coordinator May Ip, United Way of Bruce Grey, Executive Director Francesca Dobbyn and Sarah Owens of Community Connection /  211 Central East.

This online Information Hub received an International Award for Innovation from The Alliance of Information & Referral Systems. The Newcomer Hub was created by Community Connection / 211 Central East as part of the Making Grey Bruce Home’s project in partnership with Welcoming Communities Grey Bruce.

In addition, two new training tools were created including a Service Provider Training Manual and a Volunteer Training Manual which are available for download below.

Service Provider Training Manual

Volunteer Mentor Training Manual

The United Way of Bruce Grey and the Grey Bruce Welcoming Communities Committee were appreciate the financial investment of $161,576 from the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration in funding the “Making Grey Bruce Home” Project.

The “Rural Pathways for Newcomer Women in Grey Bruce Project” is an 18-month (August 2019 – December 2020) regional pilot project to develop, implement and evaluate new pathways to employment for visible minority newcomer women (VMNW) in a rural region without settlement services.

The United Way of Bruce Grey and the Welcoming Communities Grey Bruce Committee are thrilled to announce an investment of $246,576.00 from Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada in funding the Rural Pathways for Newcomer Women in Grey Bruce Project.

May Ip and Olga Gura

May Ip and Olga Gura have been hired as Pathways Development Officers to connect with newcomer women as well as businesses and employment agencies in Bruce-Grey.  In the initial stages of the project, detailed surveys were conducted to identify any potential barriers faced by newcomer women seeking employment.

With respect to results, 68 newcomer women participated in the surveys as did 79 employers and 9 employment service providers.

The surveys revealed that education, previous skills and experience not recognized in Canada as well as biases and discrimination were the major barriers for newcomer women seeking employment in Bruce and Grey Counties. In response to these results, the project plans to host Visible Minority Women Workshops in 2020 to help break down these barriers.  With the effects and restrictions of the Covid-19 pandemic, we are looking at alternative methods to host these workshops.  Please check back again or contact us for more information.


1.)  Visible Minority Newcomer Women & Employment in Grey Bruce Survey Report

2.)  Employers, Employment Services and Community Stakeholders Consultation Report

For more information, please call the United Way at 519-376-1560
or use the form below.