Newcomer Services

Newcomer Information Centre (NIC)

 The YMCA Newcomer Information Centre (NIC) is a first stop for all newcomers to Canada. NIC provide free information and referral services to help newcomer families find everything they need to settle in their new life in St Catharines or in Niagara Falls. We offer regular orientations to show them how to use NIC services. Our team of trained information specialists are here to listen and provide them with information and opportunities. Our services are available in English as well, NIC staff members speak other languages including Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese),  Hindi, Spanish, Russian, Ukrainan, Urdu, Pashto and Punjabi. Whenever possible, the families may be served in their first language. 

St. Catharines - 285 Bunting Rd   St. Catharines, Ontario   L2M 7T9 (905)-684-3500 ext 450 Email

Niagara Falls - 8123 Lundys Lane, Niagara Falls, Ontario, L2H 1H3 (289)-296-7369 Email

Newcomer Employment Assistance Program

The YMCA Newcomer Employment Assistance Program is an extension of the Employment Assistance Program. Those who are new to Canada, are in receipt of Social Assistance and hold a valid work permit qualify to participate in this program. The program offers enhanced job search services through workshops on

  • job search
  • interviewing skills
  • understanding employer expectations
  • success on the job

All services are provided at no cost to the participant.

LINC Language Assessment Centre

YMCA Newcomer Services provide language assessment for adult newcomers to Canada who are Permanent Residents or Convention Refugees. Individuals are assessed with appropriate assessment tools (CLBA, CLBLA, CLBPT, ELTPA). These tools were developed from the Canadian Language Benchmarks to help place learners in a class appropriate to their ability in English Listening/Speaking/Reading/Writing. Learners are then referred to a language instruction class or program. Classes and assessments are offered throughout the Niagara Region and are free of charge for eligible adult newcomers. To find out more about these programs, contact the LINC Coordinator at (289) 213-5311 or the YMCA Employment and Newcomer Services at (905) 684-3500.

Settlement Workers in Schools (SWIS) Program

Moving to a new country, learning a new language and understanding the culture are some of the challenges faced by students and their families arriving in Niagara everyday. Starting this fall, our YMCA will help bridge those children and their families to supportive services to assist with transition. The YMCA Settlement Workers in Schools Programs - better known as SWIS Program - is funded through Citizenship and Immigration Canada and is in partnership with the Public and Catholic Boards of Education in Niagara and Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Schools are one of the first services that newcomers connect with in the community. With the cooperation of the school, the YMCA SWIS staff are able to connect with newcomer families to orient them to school and community resources and to refer them to specific services. Five YMCA Newcomer School Settlement Workers connect with the school populations that have the greatest newcomer needs in Niagara, working with parents, guardians and the students. To learn more about newcomer services, contact your localYMCA Employment Branch.

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