Catholic church looking for rental home in Parksville Qualicum Beach for refugee family

Committee is asking investment property owners for assistance

The Church of the Ascension has sponsored a refugee family from Iraq and the church members can’t wait for the family to arrive.

The family of three, who will be making their home here for good, far away from their war-torn country, is currently in east Lebanon where they now live after escaping from Iraq.

Their travelling documents to Canada are currently being processed but according to Sandra Digras, who is the chair of the Catholic church’s refugee sponsorship committee, nobody knows how long it will take.

“They’ve had two interviews at the Canadian embassy and are now waiting for the visas,” said Digras. “Once they get that, they will be given a date to fly and their tickets. We’ve been told that status of their visas are in progress but that’s an ambiguous term so there is no concrete date of arrival.”

In the meantime, the committee is making all the preparations for the anticipated arrival of the family. Their biggest challenge is finding a reasonable rental home in the community.

“We are looking for someone who has an investment property that they can rent to us at a rate that we’re allowed to pay,” said Digras.

“Even though we raised the money, the government does not want you to pay more than what the family would have to pick up when they’re working on their own and have a job. They gave us a guideline for a family of three. They should pay between $800 to $1,100 a month.”

Digras said the rental housing situation in Parksville and Qualicum Beach just got harder following the fire in one of the apartment buildings in the community recently.

“We want to get a commitment early from someone rather than doing it later when the family arrives,” said Digras.

In Port Alberni, a member of the community there, rented out a property to a refugee family, said Digras, who is hoping someone here in the Parksville Qualicum Beach community would do the same.

As well, Digras said, they are trying to find entry-level work for the husband, who is working as a car mechanic in Lebanon.

“He doesn’t speak English well and does not have a mechanic’s certificate but we’re hoping he’ll get an entry level ability to work even at minimum wage so that the government can see he is making an effort to apply whatever knowledge he has and get a job,” Digras explained.

The husband and wife will be enrolled in an English as a Second Language Program.

Digras said they are unable to reveal the names of the family for security reasons.

“It could be dangerous for them if anybody read their names in the paper, they could get at them before they even get the chance to get here,” Digras said. “All I can tell you is that they are in their mid-20s and their child is going to be two years old in November. They are Christians originally from Nineveh, Iraq. And being Christians they had to run for their lives.”

Anyone who has rental properties and are willing to help this family can email Digras at sjdigras@gmail.com.

Just Posted

Short list for new gnome home includes Parksville, Coombs

Five potential locations have been chosen by Howard’s owners who will decide Tuesday

Parksville’s mystery cowboy revealed

Kevin Gourlay’s horse garners attention for being ‘parked’ outside a liquor store

Qualicum man sentenced for tying up, robbing another man

Gabriel Stephen Nelson robbed and assaulted travelling businessman in 2017

Parksville man ‘parks’ horse during liquor store pit stop

As long as animal wasn’t jaywalking, no problem, says city official

After mosque attacks, New Zealand bans ‘military-style’ guns

The gunman killed 50 in a Christchurch mosque

ICBC shifts to Alberta model, with higher rates, private insurers say

Minor injury cap, court restrictions take effect April 1 in B.C.

B.C., feds accused of ‘environmental racism’ over Site C, Mount Polley

Amnesty International Canada says governments failed to recognize threats to Indigenous peoples

New Leger polls suggests federal Liberals lagging Conservatives

Overall, 31 per cent of respondents polled said they would vote for Justin Trudeau’s Liberals

Number of homeless deaths more than doubled in B.C. as opioid crisis set in

New data shows trend between more overdose deaths and the number of people dying in the street

Four people spat on in ‘random, unprovoked’ assaults: Vancouver police

Police ask additional victims to come forward after woman in a wheelchair spat on

Indian Day School students eligible for $10K apiece

Islanders included in settlement package reached with Canada’s federal government

Teen girl accused in plot to attack Kamloops school with weapons out on bail

Judge warned the girl she would be back in jail if she threatened to shoot anyone

Most Read