This blog was written by Y of Greater Saint John’s Newcomer Connections Client Intake Liason, Jazmine Belyea.
A few months ago, I began working at the Newcomer Connections Centre at the YMCA of Greater Saint John as a Client Intake Liaison. I am extremely proud to be working for an organization that is devoted to strengthening the community of Saint John, New Brunswick. I grew up in Saint John and I believe the city has a lot to offer. Saint John is a port city on the Fundy coast in New Brunswick and it is recognized as the oldest incorporated city in Canada. A few of its charms include: the rapids of the Reversing Falls; the fresh food and crafts of the Saint John City Market; the New Brunswick Museum; and the trails and beaches of Rockwood Park. The Newcomer Connections Centre provides a variety of programs and services designed to build skills that help newcomers gain confidence, overcome barriers, and participate in the community of Saint John.
I often meet with clients who have recently arrived in Canada and are looking for programs that will help facilitate their participation in the community. Many of our programs provide the opportunity to meet new people and build social links. Our language services are highly requested. We provide free Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) classes to all permanent residents. They are designed to provide the basic language skills necessary to go about day to day life in Canada.
We also provide employment programs and settlement services. Our employment programs are aimed at helping newcomers achieve their goals and enter the workforce of New Brunswick. We hold a variety of employment training workshops and there are opportunities for newcomers to gain valuable volunteer experience in a variety of sectors. Our settlement services are designed to provide guidance and the skills necessary to thrive in the community. Our settlement counsellors work with newcomers to determine how best to assist with their settlement needs. We also have programs, such as Canada School, that provide essential information on various aspects of life in Canada.
The Newcomer Connections Centre assists in fostering close community connections. We listen to the experiences and the needs of newcomers and we are always working to improve our services. We want to empower and strengthen our local community.