Rainbow Immigrant and Refugee Services
SPECTRUM’s Immigrant and Refugee Services consist of two components: (1) Rainbow Newcomers – a social evening to help reduce the feeling of isolation experienced by many newcomers and (2) a pool of volunteers who can assist LGBTQ-identified newcomers in various ways.
Rainbow Newcomers is a social evening hosted by SPECTRUM for LGBTQ-identified newcomers on the 2nd Thursday of the month and the 4th Wednesday of the month. The main purpose of these social gatherings is to give newcomers the opportunity to meet LGBTQ-identified individuals, whether they are other newcomers or people who have been in Canada a long time.
We have activities and discussions that allow us to get to know one another, learn from each another and share about our experiences. We also have a time where we share about upcoming community events whether they are events specifically for the LGBTQ community or for the community at large.
We also have a time for individuals to make known challenges that they are currently facing and though we may not be able to solve these problems ourselves, we try to help these people connect with other useful resources. It is our hope that these monthly meetings will help reduce the isolation that LGBTQ-identified newcomers experience and help them expand their network of support.
Our goal is to ensure that the majority of people attending are in fact LGBTQ-identified. Some of the resource people present, however, may not be LGBTQ-identified, but are present because they are allies who bring special expertise. Allies are welcome, but are expected to undergo sensitivity training prior to attending the group.
The dates, times, and locations of the Rainbow Newcomers social evening are listed (as with all SPECTRUM events) on the SPECTRUM Calendar.
Volunteers to Assist Newcomers
SPECTRUM maintains a pool of volunteers who can be called upon to help particular newcomers when a need arises. Since we want to be as LGBTQ-centred as possible, we are trying to ensure that most volunteers are LGBTQ-identified, but we also welcome other people with particular expertise – such as legal experience. If, for example, a newcomer needs help getting somewhere in town, a volunteer can accompany the newcomer on public transit, or give the person a ride. Volunteers can also provide assistance in English-language instruction in an LGBTQ-centred environment. Volunteers can go with newcomers to act as advocates at medical appointments, etc.
To access these services, to volunteer, or to learn more about these services please contact us at: RainbowNewcomers@gmail.com