Ukrainian Relief

Ukrainian Relief Community Forum

The Brantford Immigration Partnership (BIP) invites Brantford residents and community organizations, to the Ukrainian Relief Community Forum. This event will be held virtually on Tuesday, May 17, 2022 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. This event will inform the public on plans in place to facilitate the settlement of Ukrainian nationals in Brantford through a series of presentations led by community agencies and City of Brantford's Community Services. There will also be opportunities to ask questions and share information on how to be involved in supporting Ukrainian newcomers. Please note this Forum will be recorded and available to watch at a later date. Subscribe to this page to receive updates as they occur. 

The BIP intends to channel the goodwill that has actively been demonstrated by community members within recent weeks, as many have sought to generously volunteer time, money and resources to respond to urgent humanitarian needs. Updates in the Community Forum will be given by several community leaders representing agencies including the YMCA of Hamilton Burlington Brantford, Wesley, Grand River Community Health Centre, and St. Leonard’s Community Services. The Forum will be an opportunity to leverage and coordinate efforts of volunteers and community agencies to further establish our community as a welcoming place for Ukrainians to live, work, learn and play.

Community Forum Agenda

  1. Formal Greetings at 5:00 p.m.
  2. Local response to Ukrainians arriving in Brantford
  3. Updates from community partners and agencies
  4. How members of the community can support Ukrainians
  5. Question and answer period  

How to register

Residents and organizations interested must register on Zoom by Monday, May 16, 2022.

Contact information

Please direct questions by email to officeofthemayor@brantford.ca or by calling 519-759-4150 ext.5728.

Ukrainian newcomer support and information

Pathways to immigrate to Canada

Following the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the Government of Canada announced special measures to bring Ukrainians to safety in Canada, including temporary and permanent pathways.

Temporary Pathway
Ukrainians and their family members can travel to Canada through the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) program.
Permanent Pathway

Ukrainians with family members in Canada can be sponsored to come to Canada permanently. For more information, visit Canada.ca.

To learn more about the immigration measures for Ukrainians, visit Canada.ca.

For the dedicated service channel for Ukraine immigration questions call 613-321-4243. Collect calls will be accepted. Use the IRCC crisis web form and add the keyword “Ukraine2022”.

Immediate Settlement Supports

Settlement organizations provide you with information and assistance while you adjust to living in Canada. They provide culturally sensitive services in several languages, including assistance in finding a place to live, learning English or French, finding employment, assessing educational and professional qualifications, referrals to other services such as legal help, connecting with the community, filling out forms and applications, and answering other general concerns related to immigration or settlement. 

YMCA Settlement Services

Visit the Newcomer Connections page for further information available to new arrivals to the City of Brantford.

Find information on documents (e.g. SIN card, OHIP) that you might need when you arrive in Canada at brantford.ca.

 Open a Bank Account 

 In order to open a bank account, you must visit a bank and show identification such as a passport, a driver’s license, a SIN, or another acceptable document.

For a list of acceptable documents, visit settlement.org or call the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada at 1-866-461-3222 for more information.

 Register with Red Cross
 

The Red Cross has set up reception centres at Canada’s ports of entry to provide reception, registration and translation/interpretation services. Health specialists and clinicians from Red Cross are on-site to assist you with referral to other service providers if you need medical attention or mental health counselling.

  • If you are experiencing stress, or would need to talk, there are on-site mental health specialists who can help. You can also access support by calling Red Cross team at the toll-free number 1-833-354-1628.

The Red Cross also provides welcome packages for you to learn more about supports and services available to you upon arrival. For more information, visit RedCross.ca

 Community Services

Housing 
Finding a place to live is likely to be one of your top priorities. Your housing options depend on your needs and your budget. Housing services and supports can help you find a place to rent, access financial supports, and answer questions about rights and responsibilities as a tenant. 
Income support

Ukrainians in Ontario under the Canada-Ukraine authorization for emergency travel are eligible to apply for Emergency Assistance which provides temporary financial support for basic needs and shelter in crisis situations while you apply for the Federal Income Supports.

If you live in the City of Brantford and do not have enough money for things like food, housing and prescription drugs, you may qualify for Emergency Assistance.

To apply:

Language Instruction

Newcomers can access free English and French language classes. Language classes help you learn or improve your language skills, provide opportunities to learn about Canadian culture and connect with the community. Classes are offered for people with different levels of English, from literacy to advanced and occupation specific.

The Grand Erie District School Board is dedicated to providing culturally responsive services and programs for English language learners (ELLs) that will improve the school experience and success for all English language learning students.
Visit GrandErie.ca

The Grand Erie District School Board provides ESL supports for adults through their adult education centers, in addition to offering language assessments.
Visit GrandErie.ca

 

Employment Supports

Service providers in Brantford can help you find employment. They can assist you with building job search skills, writing a resume, and preparing for interviews. They can connect you to mentorship opportunities, job placement opportunities, and more.

The following are some employment service providers in Brantford and contact persons:

Provincial Employment Hotline

To connect with job search supports and local employers in the community by calling 1-888-562-4769 or email ukrainianjobs@ontario.ca

Federal Job Bank
The Government of Canada has created a portal to connect Ukrainians to job opportunities. If you need help to find work, you can contact job bank and indicate that you are a Ukrainian national. Learn more at jobbank.gc.ca.

Enrolling children in school

Brantford has free public schools providing education to children from kindergarten to grade 12. Students are placed in their age appropriate grade.

As newcomers to Canada, there are extra supports available to your children in order to adapt to schooling in Canada. In several schools across Brantford, a settlement (SWIS) worker is available to provide families with important information to ensure their children’s needs are met.

Brantford has two English-language public school boards: Grand Erie School District Board and Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board.

Grand Erie School District Board 
Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board 
Find Childcare

Childcare centres offer care for children while their parents work or study.

The City of Brantford offers financial support for childcare to assist low-income families with their childcare expenses.

View the online registration system (OneList) that allows you to search for licensed child care programs for children from birth to age 12.

To contact Children and Early Years Services at the City of Brantford, call: 519-759-3330

To learn more about the different types of childcare and how they are regulated, or to search for licensed childcare for your children, please visit the Ontario Ministry of Education website.

Transportation

There are many transportation options to get around the city or travel outside the city. Brantford Public transit is wheelchair accessible, and there are special transportation services for people living with disabilities. Visit brantford.ca/Transit.

Healthcare

COVID-19 Guidelines

COVID-19 continues to be a risk to the health of everyone in Canada. Public Health Ontario has created resources in several languages, including Ukrainian, about COVID-19 and ways to protect yourself from it. Learn more at publichealthontario.ca

Please remember that there are masking requirements in place in certain settings in Ontario. These requirements are rapidly changing, but you can keep up to date by visiting Covid-19.Ontario.ca

Brantford has various clinics that offer COVID-19 vaccines. For locations, visit bchu.org

Crisis Supports

Contact St. Leonard’s Community Services at 519-759-7188 or 1-866-811-7188

Counsellors are skilled in Brief Solution Focused Therapy and Crisis Intervention to provide the following:

  • Crisis Outreach and Support Team Referrals
  • Connection to Addiction Services
  • Safety / crisis planning
  • Coping skills / self-soothing management
  • Referrals / connections to on-going service as required
  • Naloxone Kits and Harm Reduction Supplies
OHIP
All Canadian residents have access to health care. Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and those with a valid work permit or a temporary resident permit in Ontario qualify for public health insurance in Ontario known as OHIP. This includes people arriving in Ontario under the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET). Your OHIP card covers most health services, such as services from physicians and hospital stays. Visit a Service Ontario location to apply and obtain your OHIP card  
Health Emergencies
For immediate emergency services and life-threatening situations, please call 911 from any phone (mobile, home or public phones). 
General Health Advice
For general medical advice, you can call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000
Local Health Services

If you require health care services, you can contact one of the following agencies to begin the process:

Ukrainian organizations and groups

Volunteer-based ethnic associations in Brantford provide support, programs and activities to increase your sense of belonging and connections in the community. Members often share a common language and culture. 

Ukrainian-Canadian Congress–Hamilton Branch (catchment area includes Brantford) 

This is the umbrella organization that coordinates activities and supports for Ukrainians.

Slavic Full Gospel Church 
Call 519-755-0137 for more information.
Ukrainian Catholic Church of St John the Baptist
Call 519-865-0804 for more information.

 Volunteer Supports

General Inquiries

Residents can volunteer to support Ukrainians in need of housing, interpretation services, and/or employment through the YMCA. Individuals can complete the following form: https://www.ymcahbb.ca/ukrainian-settlement-support

For more information contact Mike Simon by calling 519-752-4568 or emailing mike.simon@ymcahbb.ca.

Settlement Services

Supports offered for newcomers to learn about their new community including:

  • Health care options
  • Housing
  • Employment
  • Transportation
  • School Enrollment (for children)
  • Support with application forms
  • Connections to culture groups
  • Referrals to community services

Contact the following agencies for further information:

Housing

For information on providing short term housing supports to Ukrainians through the YMCA’s Host Home program contact Jody Williams of the YMCA by calling 905-526-8452 or emailing jody.williams@ymcahbb.ca

Employment Services 

Employment opportunities and programs are available to eligible Ukrainians through Employment Ontario and the Federal Job Bank.
The Government of Canada has created a portal to connect Ukrainians to job opportunities. Employers have the option to post jobs available to Ukrainians: https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/findajob/resources/jobsforukraine

If you are a Ukrainian national seeking employment supports OR a local employer looking to hire incoming Ukrainians, contact Malcolm Whyte at St. Leonard’s Community Services by calling 519-756-7665 or emailing mwhyte@st-leonards.com

Healthcare
The Grand River Community Heath Centre can provide primary health care supports to Ukrainian nationals. Individuals can register through Health Care Connect by calling 1-800-445-1822 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).
Community Volunteers and Donations

If you would like to provide community supports to Ukrainians through volunteer opportunities or donations contact the following organizations: